Readers’ wildlife photos

Our most regular regular, Stephen Barnard from Idaho, sent photos over a few weeks, which I’ve compiled here. His notes are indented.  First, a video [be sure to put on full screen]:

This is a digiscoped video of a Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata) calling from his favorite perch across the creek, near where I’m 99% sure there’s a nest. He’s persistent. I hear him all day long.

I photographed this Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) on the way to Stanley, Idaho.

A pair of Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) with a half-grown colt (second photo) has been hanging out in one of the fields. I hoped to get a family photo but they didn’t cooperate. The colt makes the same call as the adults, but in a higher register.

I was pleased to see a pair of native Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura). They’re greatly outnumbered here by the exotic Eurasian Collared Doves (Streptopelia decaocto), which seem to be taking over all over the country.

Some of your readers were interested in a Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) photo. Here’s a recent one of a male showing off his epaulettes.


  1. Posted June 1, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Streptopelia decaocto in the US? How did they get there? Ah – “and introduced in North America in the 1980s.” Whoever did that should be shot.

    They are a fascinating example of a species that has expanded in the past 50 years or so, all the way across Europe. Wikipedia says
    “The collared dove is not migratory, but is strongly dispersive. Over the last century, it has been one of the great colonisers of the bird world, travelling far beyond its native range to colonise colder countries, becoming a permanent resident in several. Its original range at the end of the 19th century was warm temperate and subtropical Asia from Turkey east to southern China and south through India to Sri Lanka. In 1838 it was reported in Bulgaria, but not until the 20th century did it expand across Europe, appearing in parts of the Balkans between 1900–1920, and then spreading rapidly northwest, reaching Germany in 1945, Great Britain by 1953 (breeding for the first time in 1956), Ireland in 1959, and the Faroe Islands in the early 1970s.”

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I think they were introduced through the Bahamas.

  2. rickflick
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I hear redwing in background of the snipe clip as well as something that sound like a cat. Maybe a yellow headed blackbird?

    Lovely shots all. Thanks for continuing to bring us close to nature in central Idaho – a charmed place.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Yes, a Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus). Good call.

  3. Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    What is the 1st crane doing with what appears to be a loose ball of plant matter? They don’t eat that sort of thing, do they?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      That’s alfalfa, and yes, they do eat it. They’ll eat just about anything. This crane is trying to distract me from getting close to the colt, which can’t fly yet. (It’s much smaller than it appears in the photo.)

  4. Posted June 1, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Lovely photos, Stephen, as they always are!

    Nice video — all those bird calls! Our back yard is a little like that sometimes, with grackles, redwing blackbirds, house finches, goldfinches, orioles, cardinals, bluebirds, robins, etc. all going at it at once. (It’s really loud around here at 04:30 these days!)

  5. Posted June 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    If I had epaulettes like that, I’d be showing them off as well!

    Your photos are always pleasurable, thanks.

  6. Posted June 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    RWBB display – simply wow.

  7. Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Most regular of regulars, regularly takes regular photographs, thanks again. I did like the blackbird and here is why, around my place we have a breeding pair that has been with us for years, they are family very familiar with and in our garden.

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