Readers’ wildlife photos

Out in Iowa, reader Randy Schenck touts the benefits of a water bath for birds:

If one ever wonders how birds and water mix, do what I did.  Put a rock fountain in the yard, very close to the house.  Then just turn it on and wait.  The examples here are Cardinalis cardinalis and Turdus migratorius.  I try to get photos while the bathing action is in progress so you can see the water flying.  It is very easy to see in person but a bit harder to capture in photos while shooting through the window.  Birds line up on a hot day for this and they really go nuts.  Good entertainment.  The bath is self-cleaning and the water never runs out.

And while we’re on urban wildlife, reader Lorraine Brevig sent some photos that her friend Doug Hayes took.

The duck in the photos is a Mallard (A. platyrhynchos) and the squirrel with the blonde tail is an Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). Both photos were taken in Forest Hill Park, Richmond, VA. 


I’ve attached two more photos of Blondie. I know you’re fond of squirrels and she’s a beauty.

Does she or doesn’t she?



  1. Posted May 26, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Nice photos. It’s unusual to see a mallard do a running start for takeoff, as larger birds like geese and swans do. They usually just explode into the air.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 26, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Flight pics are excellent- not easy to get

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted May 26, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      YOUR flight pics are excellent i mean

  3. Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    May I ask where you bought or what brand of rock fountain you have there? Have never seen one with that slope, which makes lots of sense. With mine, one dirty bird, and the bath needs cleaning.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Actually the guy who does the stone is kind of an artist. This one is not an off the shelf deal but you can get those at your garden shops. Anyway this stone is about 3 ft. tall and has a hole bored through the length of it. You can complete it in various ways but this one has a large hole dug under it and then a large piece of rubber to line the hole. Maybe 15 or 20 gallons. Then attach the pump, plug it in and you are done.

      If you were in the Wichita, Ks. area I would refer you to Tobin Tupe, Artistic Stone Work & Landscape. I doubt he knows what a great bird bath this is.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Typo – Tobin Rupe (

      • Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        Individual artistry explains why I have not seen something like that before. Thank you!

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted May 26, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Hero’s Fountain is something you could read about

      I’d love to make a fountain that runs with a solar powered pump, or something like that…. one day ….

    • Jessy Smith
      Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Bird Bath & Beyond?

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Before that squirrel’s time, 1957:

  5. Posted May 26, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I’d have called that duck taking off a Black Duck. They were busy interbreeding with Mallards. Have they been taxonomically merged?

  6. Posted May 26, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    These photos are sublime. Thanks.

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