Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

Today we’re celebrating urban wildlife. Here are photos from Anne-Marie Cournoyer in Montreal, who (with me) is co-owner of the Café Sauvage, a feeding station for the local beasts. Here are some of the customers (I leave it to readers to identify them):

And speaking of squirrels, here’s a juvenile from reader Christopher Moss. His notes are indented:

These guys have relatively large paws and heads and have been using them to extort extra food from me.

But, it’s hard work and sometimes they need a nap:

Finally, here are two of the brood of four ducklings (all thriving) that have grown up in the pond outside my office. After a long time of acclimation, they not only come when I whistle, but will take food from my hand. I’ll be sad but also happy when, one summer day, they’ll fledge and head for the hills. (Well, there are no hills in Chicago; that’s a metaphor.) Yesterday it was oatmeal and a few Cheerios for breakfast.


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    That first fury one looks just like a beaver but all are very nice photos.

    • Posted June 17, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Looks like a woodchuck to me.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 17, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        You are correct, the old Groundhog. I spoke too soon.

  2. Christopher
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I just witnessed some very “sauvage” behavior at my own backyard feeder. While standing at my kitchen window making coffee, I saw a grackle rocket down from its tree perch above my feeders and drill a house sparrow. Holding it to the ground with its feet and pecking and plucking, while the rest of the sparrow flock fluttered about in futile fury. The macabre morning repast attracted several other grackles, a robin, a cowbird, and a blue jay who kept lunging and flying at the grackle who, once the sparrow had stopped kicking (literally and figuratively), took its slightly defeathered morsel and flew off. I never knew grackles would do such a thing. Unfortunately, I was far from any camera. Has anyone else seen or heard of this behavior in grackles? I believe great tits in Europe do some pretty violent things to other birds but I’ve never witnessed an non-raptor massacre before.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 17, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Pretty sure that Blue Jays will massacre the nests of other birds, killing and eating the babies.

      • Christopher
        Posted June 17, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        And I know starlings will kill nestling woodpeckers and take over the nesting site, but those are cases where nestlings are pretty much defenseless balls of meat, and even though grackles and quite a bit larger than sparrows, it caught me well off guard.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 17, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Yes, this gang-up by several species to defend against a common enemy is a regular thing. Many creatures also listen in to alert calls of other species to get a heads-up. Chipmunks listen to various birds for alarms and then make their own call to spread the word. Another example is when chickadees get excited and call and assemble in a group to defend themselves. Lots of interesting communications going on out there.

  3. Alan Clark
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    i presume that is Quacker Oats?

  4. Mark R.
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    The ubiquitous flicker is one. Yellow finch? Woodchuck. Grey squirrel?

    Was the squirrel actually sleeping or did you catch it in a blink?

  5. Posted June 18, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Nice photos! 🙂

    Female Cardinal
    Male American Goldfinch
    Northern Flicker
    Gray Squirrel

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