Readers’ wildlife videos and photos

It’s time to refill the photo tank. I have a fair few contributions, but I could always use more, so send in your good animal, plant, astronomy, and other nature-related pictures.

To add to Stephen Barnard’s hummingbird photos of two days ago, he’s sent two videos of hummingbird fights (rufous vs. black-chinned). Be sure to watch them enlarged:


“Kung fu” in which a rufous hummer pulls a tricky move:

Reader Justin Zimmer sent some plant and animal photos. He didn’t enclose IDs or captions, so put those below if you know them:


  1. John W.
    Posted July 31, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Third photo butterfly is pipevine swallowtail (Batus philenor). Last photo butterfly is clouded sulphur (Colius philodice).

  2. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 31, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    The butterfly shown in several pictures is the peacock butterfly (Anartia jatrophae).

    • W.Benson
      Posted July 31, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Nice photos. All four Peacock butterfly photos are of different individuals: Each has distinct wing damage and color pattern. The Peacock is unusual in that males are territorial, at least where I live. In the mid-hours of the day after feeding they will perch on low plants and drive other males away, sometimes batting their wings together in the process. A given male will return to defend the same spot on successive days. The male peacocks are waiting for receptive females with which they can mate. Presumably males that drive off rivals and win territories nearer host-plant patches (sources of young, unmated females) are rewarded by more frequent mating.

      • Diane G
        Posted August 1, 2018 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        Most interesting, thanks.

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted July 31, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Ref that cactus flower and also the daisy-like ones farther down, both are red inboard and yellow farther out. Reminiscent of Gaillardia, too.

    So here’s a question: is this the way most combo red/yellow flowers are? Any example of the opposite situation that comes to anyone’s mind?

    • Christopher
      Posted July 31, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      If I understand your question, there’s some dahlia, begonia, and camellia that have red petals and yellow stamens that really stand out, Butina assume that they’re probably not wild types. Would the colors serve different purposes depending on their location? One act as a botanical “runway” guide for landing, the other as the “eat here” indicator, and could those signals be reversed, depending on the pollinator?

  4. rickflick
    Posted July 31, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    All these images are a great display of summer colors. The butterflies fight the flowers for our attention.
    The hummingbirds are becoming active as we see from Steven’s videos. They are feisty little creatures which provide us with some wonderful summer entertainment.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted July 31, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      And the sound that hummingbirds put out when they fly past your ear, as one did past my ear last month while sitting on a deck with hummingbird feeders, is unforgettable, too.

      • Diane G
        Posted August 1, 2018 at 12:54 am | Permalink

        Right? No matter how frequently I hear them (which is often, considering I have feeders out), my first thought is always, “acck, it’s Waspzilla!” Obviously they get a kick out of that…

  5. Mark R.
    Posted July 31, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous colors in the photos today.

    I’ve been enjoying the hummer fights as well. Good job on the video capture; those little suckers are hard to track.

  6. Diane G
    Posted August 1, 2018 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    Cool captures, Stephen! Love the way that even in slo-mo hummers are fast!

    Beautiful butterfly/flower compositions, Justin. That penultimate one is just glorious!

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