Readers’ wildlife photos

It’s been a while since we had an All Stephen Barnard Post, but I’ve accumulated enough photos to put one together (don’t forget to send me yours!).  Stephen’s notes are indented:

This was sent to me after I admired the photo of Deets the D*g on Facebook:

You liked this on FB so I’m sending it, and a couple of others (Trumpeter Swans [Cygnus buccinator] and a Red-tailed Hawk [Buteo jamaicensis]).

First, Deets:

These photos were taken through a spotting scope at full magnification in poor light, so they aren’t quality photos but they show some interesting behavior.

A cow moose (Alces alces) with two calves was crossing a field at a good pace to get to the cover of the ponds. One of the calves has tiny spike antlers. They were followed by two mature bulls, probably intent on hanky panky. The bulls will drive off the calves and likely fight for mating privileges.

As a lagniappe, here’s a Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) that sensed prey (probably a meadow vole) by sound and is banking for the kill.

Some moose visitors. These are twins that I often see. They browse the willows across the creek this time of year, cropping the buds off at precisely moose-reaching level. This is an example of ungulates affecting a riparian zone. Without the moose (and to a lesser extent the mule deer) browsing, the willows would, I believe, expand their range.

Hitch and Deets are always amused by big game visits.

As a lagniappe, a sunrise with the peak called Queen’s Crown in the far distance.

And the bald eagles are back! I’m told that nest-building will probably commence in January. This pair has fledged many chicks over the years.

Desi (left) and Lucy (right) are still hanging in there (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). They have to build a new nest, as their last year’s nest blew down (but the three fledglings made it).

A juvenile Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) flying with the big boys.


  1. Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Lovely stuff as always, Stephen!

    I particularly love the RW blackbird photo.

    • darrelle
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink


    • JoanL
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes, indeed. The RWBs warm my heart. Lovely – thanks!

  2. Blue
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I am going to do it:
    I am going to use, Mr Barnard, the word !

    … … … … A M A Z I N G !


    ps Were I to ‘ve ever been a doggy
    aficionado ? then … … I would ‘ve
    l o v e d Deets & Hitch.

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Very interesting photo’s – I particularly like the harrier.

    Why is the peak called Queen’s Crown?

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I don’t know, but maybe it has something to do with Koh-i-Noor.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Makes sense – it has such sharp edges looking down in Google maps & in that view it’s a regular outlined shape

        I found a geologist report that says the plateau of Queen’s Crown is dated at 8,770,000 years old [±70,000 yrs] which surprises me, given the sharp edges – I suppose volcanic rock is very tough.

  4. Liz
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Wow. The last picture is just incredible. Amazing.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      I agree. I also like the photos of the moose mugs. Have never seen any up close before.

  5. GBJames
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Stephen’s photos are always top notch!

  6. David Harper
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photographs, as always. I’d be very jealous of the scenery, except that in a couple of weeks, I’ll be in north Idaho, with the Selkirk and Cabinet ranges as the backdrop. Idaho really is a lovely state, but don’t tell anyone else 😉

  7. DrBrydon
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Deets and Hitch look like good boys. Give them a pat for me!

  8. Merilee
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Wonderful, Stephen. Especially the red-wings!

  9. Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The red wing black birds stayed for the winter in my backyard once when I lived in Austin. I loved them. Beautiful birds.

  10. Evan Plommer
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Some tremendous photos here. Thanks for posting.

  11. claudia baker
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Deets looks adorable in that first photo.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I have a theory, which is mine, that compared to cats dogs have a highly developed theory of mind. Both cats and dogs try to predict what you’re about to do, but dogs are sensitive to how you *feel* about it. Cats not so much.

      • Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        This squares with my experience.

  12. rickflick
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Ah. nice way to start the day. An assortment of SB’s. I’m staying here in Boise with my daughter for a few months, and unfortunately my back strain has made it impossible to out with my equipment. I’ll content myself with these great images for the time being.

  13. Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Marvelous pictures! I especially like the ‘man-slaughter’ of red-winged blackbirds.

  14. nicky
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Liked the photo’s, but the Harrier going for the kill is outstanding!

  15. Mark R.
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for these pleasurable Idaho photos. I too loved the blackbirds the best. I think we have a winner! I also enjoyed the moose close-up nipping off the willow buds. Gourmet:)

  16. DTaylor
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Stunning photo of Deets. Took my breath away. I had a Border Collie with very similar markings–best companion ever for 14 years. So glad you also have Hitch.

    • Merilee
      Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      My parents had 4 collies during the years after I went off to college ( Beaux Eaux ( Bozo), Patches ( arrived with that name), Tuppence, and Nutmeg). My new young Mexi-mutt with German Shepherd rescue from the Mayan Riviera, Lucy ( as in You’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do), has a good BC friend up the street named Tinkerbell.🐾🐾

      • Merilee
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        Make that border collies…

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        A BC named Tinkerbell? That’s animal cruelty!

        I picture such a named bitch as a NYC yappy miniature breed with a dog coat, pink hair accessories – wet nose poking out of the shoulder bag of a NYC metrosexual 🙂

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          With little dog shoes to hand at the first sign of snow

        • Merilee
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          LOL. Agree with you on the name. Tink is a pretty normal BC. Never seen her in any kind of clothes. We used to call her the three-o’clock-border-collie because you could set your watch by my previous dog’s barking as TB walked by our house with her owner on the way to pick up her human siblings from school. Once when we were visiting Berkeley a BC walked past us on Telegraph Ave. at exactly 3. Must’ve been some kind of sign🙀

        • Merilee
          Posted December 5, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          Love dogs, but not a fan of little yapsters.

  17. Posted December 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Seeing Hitch and Deets gladdened my heart. Thanks, Stephen, for sharing these lovely photos; the birds are gorgeous.

  18. Dale Franzwa
    Posted December 5, 2017 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Great pics, Stephan. I used to do a bit of photography myself but, when it all went digital, I gave up.

  19. Posted December 6, 2017 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Love the bird pics. Thanks Stephen!

  20. Posted December 6, 2017 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Deets is such a gorgeous dog!

  21. Diane G.
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    Such a treat, Stephen! That portrait of Deets is so…soulful, for lack of a better word.

    Nice captures, all!

  22. Andrea Kenner
    Posted December 8, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful! Thank you!

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