Readers’ wildlife photos

We have another contribution from Karen Bartelt; her notes are indented:

Finishing up my Big Bend photos with some non-avian fauna.  [JAC: earlier installments here, here, and here.] First, a couple of mammals.
Javelina, aka collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu).  We saw a herd of about 15 of these near the RV park.
Gray fox  (Urocyon cinereoargenteus). This fox hung around our Chisos Mountain Lodge cabin.  I hope he doesn’t get too habituated.

Four lined skink.Plestiodon tetragrammus), I think. Seen along the Window Trail.

Look what just swam over from Mexico…a plain-bellied water snake (Nerodia erythrogaster).  Again, a tentative ID.  Santa Elena Canyon.
Two shots of a greater earless lizard (Cophosaurus texanus) along the Lower Burro Mesa Pouroff Trail.
I also included a photo my husband recently took on our driveway.  This red fox (Vulpes vulpes) hunts almost daily in our yard, usually between 5 and 6pm.  On many days, he gets an Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).  Neighbors have said they’ve seen a vixen with kits, but we only see the hunter.  One would think we’d be down to zero squirrels, but I really don’t see any decrease.


  1. Andy Lowry
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Javalinas are frequent visitors to my front yard. I have bird feeders, and birds are not fastidious about knocking seeds on the ground. I always enjoy seeing them, especially when there’s a slew of youngsters tagging along. They’re the perfect example of “so ugly they’re cute.” They look scary, but I’ve walked right into one on a local trail (it was before dawn) with no ill effects other than us both being quite startled.

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I was pretty close to the herd and away from my car. They were quite mellow!

      • Posted July 21, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Not like their tropical relatives, the White-lipped Peccaries, which travel in herds of up to 200 and sometimes rip apart jaguars in their rage!

  2. rickflick
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The skink looks like a lizard trying to be a snake.

    You’ve nicely captured the pink tongue of the water snake. The garter snakes I see have black tongues. I wonder if all snakes have forked tongues. I understand it helps determine the direction of odors. They smell/taste in stereo.

    The red fox seems to have ingested the front half of the squirrel already. If it were not for hawks and fox, we’d be overrun by squirrels. Thanks foxy.

  3. busterggi
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    “we only see the hunter. One would think we’d be down to zero squirrels, but I really don’t see any decrease.”

    I have 10 cats yet somehow there are still mice in the yard.

  4. Posted July 21, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Very good! Thank you.

  5. Lars
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Very nice lizards and snake – thanks.
    I worked with a preserved series of Cophosaurus texanum a while back. Had no idea that they were so colourful in life – formaldehyde really kills the colours.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I always love to see herps. Is the blue-tailed skink another name for the 4-lined skink? I’ve always called them blue-tailed, but maybe I’m wrong. The greater earless lizard is a beauty.

    • Lars
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Another example of the problem with common names. The blue-tailed skink you’re probably thinking of is Eumeces fasciatus (Actually Plestiodon fasciatus now, I think), better known as the five-lined skink, but most of the species of that genus have brilliant blue tails as juveniles, and the females frequently retain them into adulthood.

  7. gouparchery
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    good postt

  8. Posted July 22, 2017 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    How do I send you a wildlife photo?

    • rickflick
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      I attache mine to an email message.
      If they are uploaded to Flickr or some other site, a link could be sent via email.

      • Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Yes but I’m finding no email address to send it to.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 23, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          If you google him at the U of Chicago you’ll find an address.

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