Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have some photos sent by reader Darrell Ernst in Florida (as noted, they were taken by his daughter). His comments are indented.

Here are a few from our local area, not all birds! (All taken by my daughter Brianna). This Eastern Gray SquirrelSciurus carolinensis, doesn’t seem to be the trusting sort.

This Florida Sandhill Crane colt (thanks, Stephen), Antigone canadensis pratensis, blends in very well among the reeds and tall grass. A sibling is close by a little behind this one, but completely concealed.

This Snowy EgretEgretta thula, was shot at Sebastain Inlet. I think they are one of the most beautiful birds in our area. In the past, their beauty nearly led to their extinction because their feathers were so prized.

This moth was found in our back yard by the kids. I think it is a Spiny Oakworm mothAnisota stigma.

And another batch of two:

When I sent the Osprey vs Bald Eagle pics, I mentioned that I had originally run out to the lake because of an unusually large group of vultures, which promptly flew away before I could get close. The whole group, two dozen minimum, were all after a single Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) carcass. It was a big bass, but only one. Well, the vultures weren’t the only ones feasting on the Bass. There were flies too. After the Bald Eagle flew off, I gave the camera to my daughter (it’s her camera, after all) and then we found the Bass. She took some pictures of the carcass and one of them, I thought, revealed the unexpected beauty of the carrion eating flies. As far as I can figure, these are some type of New World screwworm fly, either C. macellariaor C. hominivorax. There is at least one, the top-most fly at mid-left, that looks to be a different type, but I can’t identify it.

Just in case anyone needs a safe space after that icky-flies-eating-dead-thing pic, I’ve added a study in feline comfort-ability. Nothing has a greater ability to be comfortable than a cat. [JAC: You can see photos of Coco Chanel hunting a snake here.]

Coco Chanel

Finally, these photos just came in from reader Tim Anderson in Australia. I have allowed him to post a picture of his d*g as a special favor. His notes:

We take Paddy, The Magnificent Hound, for walks around the old WW2 prison of war camp (where the awful Cowra Breakout happened). On a recent ramble, we heard a collection of birds carrying on like pork chops at the top of a gum tree. Here they are, three Black-shouldered Kite chicks (Elanus axillaris) just out of the nest but not ready to fly.

Picture of Paddy also attached (on the day of his first encounter with snow). [JAC: Where is there snow in Australia? Tim answered:]

Where is the snow? On Mount Kosciuszko,  south of here. It was named by a Polish explorer of Australia, Pawel Strzelecki, in honour of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who happened to be a hero of the American Revolutionary War. Strzelecki explored the Australian Alps with James Macarthur, James Riley and two Aboriginal guides: Charlie Tarra and Jackey (from Wikipedia).

Probably also snowing on Mount Canobolas, about 40 kilometres north of here, on account of it has been -5 degrees Celsius for the last two nights. I spent last night taking pictures of Omega Centauri out the back of the house. I had frost on my nose.



  1. Posted July 2, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Very good pictures. The snowy egret, especially.
    There are four species of flies on the fish. The mystery fly that you point out, and two species of metallic green blow flies which differ in size and color here. Finally, there is a flesh fly. Can readers spot it?

    • darrelle
      Posted July 2, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Is it the smaller one on the right side?

      • Posted July 2, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Yes. 2nd fly from the right.

        • Diane G.
          Posted July 2, 2017 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the quiz. 🙂

  2. Susan D.
    Posted July 2, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Where is the snow in Australia? dozens of ski resorts in south-eastern New South Wales, eastern Victoria and most of Tasmania. See here
    Australia is very flat due to a combination of 3 billion years of static geology and constant weathering and erosion, so we don’t have lots of mountain ranges and not much high country. But with climate change, I think the snow will eventually disappear altogether along with the wildlife that need it.

  3. Diane G.
    Posted July 3, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Darrell, my compliments to your daughter–what lovely pictures! And that Snowy Egret is spectacular!

    Tim, congrats on the kite chicks sighting! What a beautiful species.

    And dogs go nuts in snow, don’t they? 🙂

    • darrelle
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Thank you Diane. I’ll pass that on to her. She’s out of town, off on some summer adventures, so I’m not sure if she is following the site. 13 year olds got stuff to do!

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