Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

Stephen Barnard has a box o’ kestrels (Falco sparverius) on his garage. The parents are Boris and Natasha, and there’s at least one chick—almost certainly more.  Here’s one chick, which is growing rapidly. Stephen’s notes are indented:

Here’s the gorgeous male:

Boris has been scarce for weeks — off hunting and avoiding the blackbirds  and kingbirds, I suppose. I don’t know where he hangs. I see him visit the nest box on the remote camera. When I’ve seen him  perched he’s been skittish and spooks easily, unlike Natasha. He spoils any attempt at a couple photo.

But a solo photo is fine:

And a video:

Natasha delivering a grasshopper. [JAC: Boris delivers voles while Natasha seems to bring the insects.]

Two photos from reader Benjamin Taylor. First, a mallard drake from Europe (Benjamin’s notes are indented):

I took this photo on a recent trip to Slovenia, and thought that it was quite nice. I know that you’re a fan of ducks, so I thought you might like this. [JAC: Of course I do!]

When I asked exactly where the duck was photographed, I got this response:

It was in Lake Bled. I’ve attached a photo of the lake from a previous trip. Not a bad place to live if you’re a duck!


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    [ looks at lake bled ]
    [ a moment passes ]
    [ stares with longing in silence out the window]

  2. GBJames
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Not a bad place to live if you’re a human!

  3. BJ
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures!

    I am definitely going to Slovenia some time soon.

  4. Hempenstein
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Slovenia is wonderful. I attended a meeting there 10yrs ago, not having any idea what it would be like there and came away enormously impressed. We flew in to Ljubljana (legendarily founded by Jason & the Argonauts), spent a day there (make sure to see Dragon Bridge), and then off to Bled for a day, headed toward the meeting. I didn’t go out to the island on Lake Bled, but we hiked down a nearby ravine that was wonderful.

    Then off to the meeting destination, Kranjska Gora, in the extreme NW corner – a ski destination in the winter, at the foot of the Julian Alps. Rife with WWI history, particularly on the other side, recommend taking the slow, twisty drive over Vršič Pass (faster is via Predil Pass) and then down along the Soca River to the museum in Kobarid. Be sure to note the timeline running along the edge of the ceiling, too.

    Knowing beforehand (I didn’t) that an estimated 300,000 died on the Isonzo Front that is basically the Soca River is sobering, and scars from that are still readily apparent. Also along the way to Kobarid, stop near Bovec and take the time (~30min) to hike up to the fascinating ruins of ca. 1900 Fort Hermann, which takes you thru a tunnel.

    This area has been the site of conflict for centuries, and ruins of other fortresses can be found, too, but for me Fort Hermann was the best. And astonishingly, particularly with the casualty levels, the WWI conflict in this region is little-known in English-speaking parts.

    • Christopher
      Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I’ll never have the money to visit such places, seeing as I continuously cling to the bottom rung of the social-economic ladder but I would love to do a tour of WWI battle sights.

      • Christopher
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Sites, I mean. Well, see the sights at the sites.

        • Hempenstein
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

          You should check what it might cost. I don’t think throngs are going to Slovenia. As I recall, staying at a big hotel in Kranjka Gora wasn’t that bad. Of course, that was probably with a group discount (the late arranger of the conference was a professional bargainer of the same persuasion as our host here), and we were there in July, which is the off season for a ski place. Also, there was a hostel up near the top at Vršič (IIRC) that could be a way of doing it on the cheap(er?). I was a bit nervous about going there, what with all that had happened in Croatia and points south not that many years before, but it’s just a lovely country and everyone was friendly.

          And if you go, get the mushroom soup!

          • Christopher
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the tips. I’ll at least check it out, but I really am living not quite paycheck to paycheck, always have. Making money is yet another thing I’m really bad at!

            • Hempenstein
              Posted June 28, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

              Hope you’re able to find a way sometime!

  5. yazikus
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Amazing. I wonder if any pictures were snapped of the elusive Slovenian Olm?

  6. Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos you got here.

  7. DrBrydon
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Sooo blue.

  8. Glenda
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Stunning photo of Boris. Thank you for sharing the photos and videos of this family.

  9. Christopher
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny how so many animals go through an awkward teenage phase. I guess the scruffy uneven feathers are the bird equivalent to acne…goose pimples, you might say. 😬

  10. Mark R.
    Posted June 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful lake, right out of a fairy tale.

    So does this mean the cow bird (iirc) didn’t lay any eggs? That’s good news.

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