Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have some bird photos from reader Karen Bartelt; her notes are indented:

Just a potpourri of “dueling birds” at my feeders last month.

Dueling male northern cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) looking at a red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus):

cardinals

Dueling downy woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens); two females and a male/female confrontation:

downies1

downies2

Dueling northern flickers (Colaptes auratus):

flickers

We went to Starved Rock SP (near Utica IL), last week hoping to see bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).  We saw about a dozen in a field just southwest of the entrance gate.  There was a carcass, probably a deer, in the field, and adults and juveniles were having quite a time.  I was only able to photograph half of them on the ground at any one time.  The park was nice, but we saw no eagles.  Why dive in cold water to catch fish when there is a nice carcass a half mile away?

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12 Comments

  1. darrelle
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I especially like the 1st pic with the Cardinals checking out the woodpecker.

  2. dougeast
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    “Why dive in cold water to catch fish when there is a nice carcass a half mile away?”

    Don’t think I’d ever spot my dinner a half mile away, unless it was a Cracker Barrel sign. No problem for these guys.

  3. Paul S
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    OT, I just looked out in the yard and we have two ducks in our pool already. We’ve gotten a pair that hangs around for a few days for several years, but they are very early this year.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Nice bunch of pictures all. Attaching the suet to the bird feeder would bring different types into the photo that you normally would not get. Cardinals and the woodpecker…

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      We have everything from flickers to titmice. Today a hawk came through and almost got an easy treat. We feed everyone!

  5. busterggi
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Not a photo but last night the peeper frogs were out – never heard them this early before. New Britain, CT.

  6. Andy Lowry
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    THAT’s what I’ve been forgetting: suet! Just ordered some for the front yard to go along with the (sunflower seed) feeders. Thanks for the reminder, Ms. Bartelt!

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Another reminder: We’ve had to stop filling the suet feeder on our porch post (the photo with the female downies) due to nighttime raids by a raccoon. We haven’t had many raccoon problems lately, but make sure you have raccoon-proofing below the suet! They are very good at opening suet feeders.

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Very good! I especially like the one where the cardinals are throwing shade on the woodpecker.

  8. rickflick
    Posted March 1, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I’m always a little disappointed to see bald eagles resorting to scavenging. I always feel they should stand majestically on tall pines and swoop down powerfully to pick off fish. Or gripping the knob on a flag pole just looking fierce.

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted March 1, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      I think the most dramatic example of scavenging that I’ve seen was in about 1983, when we lived in Montana. Just out for a drive when we saw upwards of 20 bald eagles in a field. They were eating placentas from cattle who had recently given birth. Yeah, not so majestic.

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 2, 2017 at 1:23 am | Permalink

      You should see how they congregate on landfills…


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