Readers’ wildlife photos

Two submissions today! The first is one of the rare photo submissions by regular Diane G., and it’s adorable. Her notes are indented:

Why I take the bird feeders in at night.
Yesterday near midnight I’m taking the dogs out one last time when they’re suddenly in full prey-alert mode. I put the excitable teenager (in dog years) back in the house, retrieve my camera, and shoot this:
Yes, our old friends, Procyon lotor.  Actually, these would be our young friends–it appears to be an entire litter of kits. Part of intrepid Louis shows below…he knows there’s a raccoon somewhere in the vicinity…
The kits watch him search to their right…
. . . and left. . .
…and think, this is our mortal enemy?  Louis, actually as benign as he is clueless, soldiers on.
Bored, the young procyonids turn their attention to me:
I remember I can zoom in; can you tell how many there are?
That’s right, five. 😀

I’m pretty sure the litter’s mother ran off when the dogs & I first appeared and I don’t want to stress her or the kits out any more, so Einstein and I retreat to the house. I expect Mom to return when she feels the threat is gone and retrieve her offspring. Twenty minutes or so later we venture out again and find the coast is clear.

And that was our excitement for the night.   🙂

And from reader Garry VanGelderen in Ontario:

Not the best of shots, but might still be of interest: a pileated woodpecker feeding its two young high up in a nest in a dead tree in my front yard next to the front door. Taken June 3, 2017.


  1. rickflick
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Good grief! Those coons are delightful. What amusement right in your own back yard. Lewis is a gas.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Never a dull moment. 🙂

      • David Coxill
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        I love Raccoons ,wish i lived in America .

        • Merilee
          Posted June 6, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          You could live inCanada and avoid Mr. Tangerine. Toronto is the raccoon capital of the world!!

  2. Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Great stuff. Nice work finding the Pilleated Woodpecker nest!

    My son just this weekend got his first quality photos of a Pilleated woodpecker — something he’s been pursuing for months. The photos were taken from our back deck.

    As the Pilleated Woodpecker landed in our neighbor’s yard, a Cooper’s Hawk flew over their and our yard (and briefly landed in our deck shade tree, 10 feet (3m) directly above our heads!). This seems to have caused the woodpecker to freeze (in a good pose, decently lit) for several minutes — much to the delight of my son!

    We can tell that the woodpeckers have nested across the street from us in an open space area; but finding the nest? Good luck!

    I will be sending the best these to Jerry soon.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I’ve often seen Downies & Hairies freeze for a long time when there’s a hawk in the vicinity–very pleased to learn I can add Pileateds to the database. Looking forward to your son’s shots!

      Pileateds are the reason I don’t have a raccoon/squirrel baffle on that feeder post–they seem to love the grip and support they get from the 4 x 4 and so occasionally show up to partake of the suet. Not nearly often enough, alas–some years I never see any, but we did just have a female there a few days ago.

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    That’s very funny, Diane. Thanks!

  4. darrelle
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    What a fun experience with the raccoon kits Diane. Thank goodness you got some pics of them.

    Nice shot of the woodpeckers. We have at least 3 different species in our area and the pileated is one of them, but they are fairly rare. Not too long ago a red-tailed hawk captured a wood pecker in our backyard. We were a bit sad.

  5. Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I was thinking ‘There are only four?’… ‘Ah, there’s the fifth’ xD

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I’d been thinking, “there seems to be a lot of raccoon in the center there…” Glad I took a peek around the back. 🙂

  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I never understood there was such a difference in woodpeckers until I saw a (then unknown to me) pileated winding up its head and bashing a tree – kind of freaky!

    • rickflick
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Woody Woodpecker must have been modeled after the Pileated.

      • Posted June 5, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes, even to his signature call …

        • Merilee
          Posted June 5, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha ha HA ha….ha ha ha ha ha

  7. Merilee
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Great shots, Diane, and love fearless, clueless, Louis!!

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Merilee. Thought I might be able to sneak a d*g in here if it wasn’t actually portraying an exemplar of the species. 😉

      (Although to my mind, he certainly is one. 🙂 )

      • Merilee
        Posted June 5, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Louis is all dawg – a wonderful exemplar!
        Mutts is da best. We haven’t seen raccoons in our yard for ages. Currie at 15 has reached a detente with the bunnies and will often stand just a couple of feet away from them, studiously ignoring them.

        • Diane G.
          Posted June 5, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

          Awww. 🙂 I love old d*gs. (As you know, Louis will be 15 in a couple of months…)

  8. Debbie Coplan
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Great photos and so funny!
    I love the kit facing the wrong way.
    …And what a wonderful woodpecker photo…

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:57 am | Permalink

      “…the kit facing the wrong way.”

      Probably the Louis of the litter. 😀

      • Merilee
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        Which way did they do??? Lol

        • Merilee
          Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

          Make that GO, not do…

  9. Posted June 5, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Lovely – both!

  10. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    These are very amusing photos — the raccoons and the woodpecker. Nice to have a good laugh in the morning.

    Perhaps researchers working on preventing concussions in sports should study woodpeckers.

  11. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Lovely photos Diane. Very cute. We’ve just brought in a litter of week-old kittens, and wile they were outside the mother sometimes climbed a nearby pole and perched on it, like she was on sentry duty.

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Sounds as if they were feral kittens? How wonderful of you! (Though what a huge, time-consuming responsibility!) Do you have any plans to perhaps get the mother trapped & spayed?

  12. Posted June 5, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Great shots today! All with a lot of personality.

  13. jrhs
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    There is always one odd ball in every family? 🙂

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 5, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      At least. 😀

  14. Posted June 5, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    LOL – Made my day!Thanks.

  15. Posted June 5, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink


  16. Heather Hastie
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    What a cool and fun experience Diane! I love the pics. Great story. 😀

    The woodpeckers are most enjoyable too.

  17. Diane G.
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the comments, everyone! Depending on your screen size, some of those coonlet shots look better if clicked twice.

    (Not sharper, mind you. When I find something like this I try to get my shots as quickly as possible without worrying a lot about camera settings and all, then get out of the way. But the expressions on the kits’ faces are more apparent.)

  18. Diane G.
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Garry, in your front yard next to your front door?! How lucky can you get?! Great capture–I hope you’re continuing to photograph these guys. Such a wonderful opportunity to witness something few of us will ever get the chance to see.

    • Garry VanGelderen
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      I leave dead trees standing for the woodpeckers, unless they might fall on the house. Must have 8 or 9 trees on the property that are suitable for nesting.

  19. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    That is a hairy experience. I’ve seen this in a tree and in a shed, but not on a pole.

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