Readers’ wildlife photographs (and videos)

Stephen Barnard is making videos, and graces us with two of them that show hummingbirds in slow motion. Be sure to watch them full screen by clicking on the word “vimeo” at lower right. Stephen’s descriptions are indented:

Rufous Hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) in slow motion. This time of year the hummers migrate through here. I get dozens at the feeders.

And air-to-air combat:

I’m fooling around with this trying to get the right camera parameters and waiting for good light. There’s a lot of smoke from forest fires that makes the light a little weird.

And four photos from Tanzania by John Conoboy:

We passed by a cackle (or clan) of hyenas several times. They were right alongside the road near a water hole. This female, who was obviously nursing, seemed to be in some distress. She moved slowly and tentatively as if in pain. This is a spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta).

Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) were quite common. This one looked like it was saying grace before having lunch. I thought at first that it might not be able to reach the grass easily while standing on all fours, but there were other warthogs that had no trouble eating while standing. We also saw an antelope assume a similar pose in order to drink out of a
water hole.

The Vervet (Cercopithecus aethiops) was very common, especially around areas where people stopped to eat, as these critters are real opportunists. At one lunch stop, our guide told us not to use some of the tables as the monkeys would try to grab our food, so we went to a place he said was safer. We were just starting to eat when a vervet dropped out of a nearby tree onto the table between me and my friend Ed. It grabbed Ed’s sandwich. Ed reacted by grabbing the monkey and then decided quickly that doing so was not a good idea, so he let it make off with the loot.

I include one non-wildlife photo. In the town of Karatu near Ngorongoro Crater were several roadside stands named for Bill and Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. The owner of the Hillary shop had predicted the outcome of the U.S. election, but apparently chose to keep his sign intact. How I wish he would have been right.


  1. DrBrydon
    Posted August 10, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Wow, Stephen, I love the hummingbird videos. I’ve only seen a hummingbird relatively close once when I was a kid.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted August 10, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Like that slow motion on the hummingbirds. Great photos today.

  3. Sastra
    Posted August 10, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I had trouble paying attention to the hummingbirds because I was distracted by the magnificent view. Whoa.

  4. Posted August 10, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    All excellent!

    Stephen, I have been waiting to ask if you ever tried a floating blind to take pictures of aquatic birds.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted August 10, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I haven’t used a floating blind, but when I’m fishing in a float tube birds let me get much closer than when I’m on foot.

  5. rickflick
    Posted August 10, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Nice images.

    I especially like Steven’s hummers2 against the mountains. The birds are really hanging in deep space.

    We were in Africa some years ago and had vervet monkeys at one of the lodges. One waited near a father, mother, and little girl at their breakfast table. When the father got up to visit the buffet, the monkey moved in quickly and stole the little girls breakfast. A staff member told us later that the monkeys are less afraid of women than men.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted August 10, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    These are all terrific.

    Great job on the videos Stephen; I’m sure it won’t take you long to master another skill using optics. Here in Washington, the smoke from Canadian wild fires has been thick and lingering. I’m glad my asthma is under control! I don’t know if the smoke you’re referring to is also from Canada.

    I loved the Hillary, Bill and Michelle “shops”. Where’s Barak’s?

    I also enjoyed your story about the Vervet stealing food. And the photo of the Vervet looks like it’s got crumbs around the mouth…is that after it ate Ed’s sandwich? lol!

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