Readers’ wildlife photos

Tim Anderson from Australia wrote in yesterday in with some raptor photos. His notes:

Yesterday, I went for a drive through the countryside hereabouts. In the space of an hour I managed to photograph the birds in the attached pics. In order of attachments:

Nankeen kestrel (Falco cenchroides):

Brown falcon (Falco berigora):
Black falcon (Falco subniger):
Australian darter (Anhinga novohollandiae):
Red Browed Firetail finch (Neochmia temporalis):
White-faced Heron (Egretta novohollandiae):

I’m not certain about some of the identifications: most Australian raptors are brown and are about yea big – the diagnostic notes usually talk about the colouration of the inner eyelid.

I also saw a couple of other raptors,  but the pics were rubbish. As it is the bowels of winter here, it may be that they have to be a bit more bold to catch whatever prey ventures out into the open. It seemed like every second tree had a bird of prey in it.

And the Daily Mammal from reader Jonathan Harvey, who is unduly modest about his photo of a Procyon lotor:

I enclose one photo of a raccoon taken a few months ago in one of the less traveled sections of Golden Gate Park [San Francisco]. I don’t know if it is high enough quality for your Reader’s wildlife photoes, but I  submit it.


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Birds of Prey are very numerous out in the country here in the Midwest of our country and not many Rabbits. Have to go into town to see a Rabbit.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    That last pic must be of “the old He-Coon that walks before the light of day” of Florida political lore. And here I thought bipedalism among the Procyonidae family was just cracker mythology.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 2, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      A number of years ago while kayaking in the boonies in Florida I spied a raccoon watching me from a discrete distance while I was drifting near the bank taking a snack break. I had a large bag of little bite size smokey sausages. Over the course of about 10 minutes I managed to coax him down to the edge of the stream and then to taking sausages right out of my hand.

      He stayed up on his hind legs the entire time. His eyes stayed focused on my eyes the entire time. He never looked at the food. He was very careful. He would finish a sausage then, never breaking eye contact, would blindly pat around my outstretched hand with both his little paws, very delicately, until he found the sausage by feel then grab and eat it. His hands felt just like tiny little human hands with leather gloves on them. That and him standing there the whole time on his rear legs made it almost seem like I was sharing a snack with a young human child.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted August 2, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        How cool! 🙂

      • Diane G.
        Posted August 2, 2017 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        + 2 !

      • rickflick
        Posted August 3, 2017 at 5:20 am | Permalink

        It would have been too amazing to witness that. If only GoPro cameras had been available…

        • darrelle
          Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

          That would have been convenient!

          The way things are going the next generation will literally record there entire lives.

          • rickflick
            Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            I can imagine the hours of careful editing when it comes time to sum things up. Music by John Williams.

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 2, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Great anecdote, Ken! The South just doesn’t make politicians like it used to.

  3. Posted August 2, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Not a darter – looks like a little pied cormorant. Nice pics though

    • darrelle
      Posted August 2, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure at all, not familiar with Australian birds, but some of the features do strongly resemble an Anhinga. For example the shape of the neck, head and beak. Though Anhinga and Cormorant do have quite similar shapes of just those features.

      • Adrian
        Posted August 2, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Yes, Little Pied Cormorant. It has a short stubby bill, rounded wings and a short neck.

        Darters have a long pointed bill and fly with their neck outstretched giving a cross-like profile with a longer tail.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    “…diagnostic notes usually talk about the colouration of the inner eyelid” LOL

    I would prefer long distance identifiers for all Aussie critters – a mad biosphere inclined to infest you or eat you or both!

  5. darrelle
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Nice set of pics. Not too surprisingly I’m not familiar with any of the Australian birds shown.

  6. Posted August 2, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    All good.
    Jonathan, by coincidence I am just back from SF, and I had walked plenty through the golden gate park. I came face to face with a racoon much like you did, on a path around one of the out-of-the way lakes. Might be the same one!

  7. rickflick
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m struggling to learn birds in the Eastern US – but it’s a fun struggle. It occurs to me that an advantage in moving to a new state, country, or continent would be having a whole new set of birds to enjoy learning.

    The raccoon has assumed a delightfully anthropomorphic stance. 😎

  8. Tony Eales
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Also the falcon is the ubiquitous Brown Falcon Falco berigora rather than a Black Falcon, which would have been a very nice pick up.

  9. busterggi
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Harvey, the photo is fine, I can even see the zipper in the suit.

  10. Diane G.
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Ted, very cool! Man, those falcons do look hard to ID!

    I believe I saw the finch on an Aussie webcam a year or two ago. (Please get more Aussies to run webcams–such cool birds, so few live feeds!)

  11. Diane G.
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Harvey, great capture! 😀

    Maybe the next in line for WH Chief of Staff…

    • darrelle
      Posted August 3, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      That would be an improvement!

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