Readers’ wildlife photos (and videos)

Reader Graham found that he had mis-gendered his fox (a crime in Canada), and sent these notes:

It would appear that I’ve made a rather large mistake in regard to Mr Fox. He’s not Mr Fox, SHE is Ms Fox!
I came into my kitchen this morning to see Ms Fox on the lawn with 2 other foxes. The other two, while almost fully grown, were quite obviously youngsters and it was a family group. Not wanting to disturb them, I tried to take a video through the door window with the security grills still in place (the vertical bars on the side of the video), and then discovered that the battery was dead on my camera, hence the shortness of the video.
Anyway, this was my view for about 10 minutes: the cubs playing with each other & mum before they all disappeared. What a wonderful start to the day!

Reader Rick Longworth sent frog and toad videos; his notes are indented:

I found a tiny froglet in the damp grass in the back yard of the house(Central New York).  I think it is probably the wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus or Rana sylvatica) based on the markings.  The adult body length is about 60 mm while my froglet was about 13 mm. My short video contains a recording of the mating song from Wikipedia just as a reference.

A photo:

In the same area, the next day, I caught a toadlet, probably the Eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus, formerly Bufo americanus) which measured only about 1 cm.

“Often entire groups of tadpoles reach the toadlet stage at once and a mass migration to higher ground takes place usually to shaded areas of mid range and upland forests bordering the marshes from where they bred. Toadlets can be observed eating microscopic bugs as fast as they can…”[Wikipedia].

The toadlet was drawn toward my LED lights, while the froglet preferred the shadows. (Camera: Panasonic GH3; lens, AF Micro Nikkor 105mm.)

A photo of the toad, with scale:

And some more froggies from reader Matt Cavanaugh:

As a regular reader and commenter at your WEIT website, I greatly enjoy the wide range of topics and material presented there.  But I get perhaps the purest pleasure from viewing the amazing & beautiful wildlife photos submitted by your readers.  I am envious of those impressive shots for, though I am surrounded by diverse flora & fauna of the Sierra Foothills of Northern California, I never seem to be able to do them justice with a camera (phone).
I was, however, quite pleased with the attached photos I took the other day of small frogs occupying a large water trough I was cleaning & refilling.  During the rainy season my ranch is blanketed with myriad frogs, croaking throughout the night and filling every puddle with tadpoles.   Everything is completely dry now, and I’m ever surprised when these little fellows appear shortly after I fill a trough or the water bucket in the dog’s kennel.  They even set up house inside my swamp cooler!   I wonder where they had been prior, and how they fared without water.
Can any readers give us some IDs?


  1. Michael Fisher
    Posted July 29, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    “Swamp cooler”? I imagined a box full of beers lowered into a swamp to chill the booze.

    I looked it up & I’m utterly wrong – the expression is alien to the UK, but I’ll not spoil the pleasure for others of finding-things-out! 🙂

    Great pics & frog mysteries. Has that one fox got mange?

    • Posted July 30, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      AFAICT, the term is limited to the US West. They only work in low humidity, but are a low-energy alternative to AC. I’m off the grid, and would melt away without mine.

  2. BJ
    Posted July 29, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Hey all, I have a question related to the wildlife subject of this post: does anyone know how to keep poor little froggies and toadies from jumping into and drowning in my swimming pool? I have a feeling there’s no way to do this, and it only happens occasionally, but I would rather it not happen at all. A hard cover isn’t a solution for me in the summer months (I use a solar cover so I use far less energy heating the pool), so I can’t think of anything else.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted July 29, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink


      There’s some suggestions here – the salt barrier makes sense to me:

      I’ve also read elsewhere:
      ** A ramp for frogs to get out of the water rather than drown. My neighbour has a ‘skimmer’ in her pond that incorporates a frog escape ramp
      ** Fountain or similar to disturb water = fewer bugs = fewer frogs
      ** No night lights [which attract bugs]

      Adopt a heron, egret or snake? 🙂

  3. Paul D,
    Posted July 29, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    The frog pictures remind me of experiences I had with my young daughters some 20 years ago.

    We live in northern Illinois, outside Chicago. When they were young I’d take them up to Glacial Park in McHenry County. This park was former farmland. Nippersink Creek, which runs through it, was still highly channelized on the southwest side of the park. But that section had the most remarkable abundance of frogs and toads, as well as snakes that I imagine were feeding on them.

    My daughters and I would visit the park and walk the trails, watching the frogs leap and snakes slitter away. I wouldn’t have done this if there was much risk of encountering a venomous snake, but there is only one such species in northern Illinois and it’s both rare and small.

    After a more natural riverbed was restored there we never saw such populations. I’ve wondered how one should think about the ethical issues involved in such restorations.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 29, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      I’ve seen controversy here in New York surrounding a wildlife area. It contains some rare species of plants and animals and is recently changing due to beaver moving into the area. Some see the beaver as destructive of the current state, while others say the beaver are a natural part of the environment and should be welcomed regardless of changes to diversity.

  4. Posted July 29, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I tentatively propose that the frogs are Sierran treefrogs (Pseudacris sierra).

    • jwthomas
      Posted July 29, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Definitely a tree frog.
      I hear their chorus singing by night and occasionally find them attached to the undersides of leaves all over NorCal in Spring.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 29, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Look at Wikipedia, the frog has been split into 3 taxonomically. A North, Central, and Southern species.

    • Lars
      Posted July 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      What about Hyla regilla?

      • chascpeterson
        Posted July 31, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        that’s it, but now Pseudacris regilla. Pacific chorus frog (formerly Pacific treefrog when lumped into Hyla.
        Source of the ribbiting night-time background noise in many many old movies.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted July 29, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    All the photos/videos today are very cute: cute kits, froglets, toadlets and tree frogs. Thanks!

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