Readers’ wildlife photographs

Because it’s World Biodiversity Day, I thought I’d show a diversity of photographs, each from a different reader. Most of them, of course, will be birds! Readers’ notes are indented.

Oh, and keep those photos coming in, folks. I can never have too many.

First up is by Brianna Ernst, daughter of Darrell Ernst:

This is a portrait of a boat-tailed grackle (Quiscalus major). Very serious! Though the males are black, in good lighting you can see all sorts of shade variations from purples to blues and more, changing as the lighting angle changes. A clue that the color is a result of scattering, diffraction and refraction affects due to surface structure rather than pigments. The photo was taken within 25 miles of where we live and this was taken by my daughter Brianna with a Nikon D3200.

From Divy Figueroa, a starfish of unknown species, photographed in Parguera, Puerto Rico [JAC: This now appears to be a “cushion star,” Oreaster reticulatus; h/t Christopher Mah.]

From Don Bredes:

Thought you’d like to see an indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea) and an  American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) together; not sharp, alas, as it was 6:30 am so the light was low, but the colors are striking.

From Joe Dickinson:

This rather chubby California ground squirrel (Citellus beecheyi) was expertly working tourists visiting Morro Rock [California]:

From Stephen Barnard in Idaho, sent on Saturday:

Here’s yet another Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) photo from this morning. He’s almost tame. His name is Willie.

From Mark Sturtevant, a mantid snapped in Michigan:

Late in the summer, one can fairly regularly find the European mantis (Mantis religiosa) out in the fields. This picture is of picture is a female, taken on the day that I released her after a couple days of being pampered and generally fussed over while in captivity. The same mantises were seen before in WEIT for some of the ‘Spot the mantis’ challenges.


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Great pictures all. The photo of the grackle is amazing.

  2. BJ
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Wow, that boat tailed grackle is beautiful and perfectly photographed. Commendations to the photographer!

    I hope the California ground squirrel isn’t being fat-shamed in that picture…

  3. Michael Day
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I love that photo of the grackle.

  4. rickflick
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    A diverse and enjoyable collection.

  5. Hauntedquest
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Wow, that grackle stares right into your soul. It made me think of Poe’s “The Raven”.

  6. Glenda
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Thank you. Enjoyed the diversity and as always the notes that go with the excellent photos. Love looking at these when I have my morning coffee. Beats the dismal world news all to hell.

  7. Posted May 22, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I liked most the starfish and the 2 birds. Good that Mr. Bredes sent them, they are charming!

  8. darrelle
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    The picture of the indigo bunting and American goldfinch is very striking. We don’t have any species with such extensive primary colors in the area we live in. Well, we do have the occasional Cardinal, but we don’t see them often.

    Mark, that mantid pic is really nice. Were you able to achieve that depth of field in a single image or did you stack several images? I don’t yet have any equipment specifically for macro photography and though I’ve gotten some decent macro shots on occasion I can’t seem to ever get the entire critter in focus.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted May 22, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      It is just one picture. But it is at fairly low magnification due to the size of the insect, and I am sure I had a narrowish aperture. These factors increase the depth of field.
      Also take 15 pictures and keep the one that nails it. That helps too.

  9. darrelle
    Posted May 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for the kind words about the grackle picture by my daughter, Brianna.

  10. Posted May 22, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    This little window of the world keeps on delivering.. tar very much.

%d bloggers like this: