Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

Today I’ll put up photos from one reader and a video from another.

The video comes from Rick Longworth, who also sent a photo montage from that video. His comments are indented:

In early September, with night temperatures into the high 40s,  the rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) begin to pack up for Mexico.  Their numbers peaked here in the first week and I was able to get some final shots using several different lenses.  A wide angle lens allows a wide view and greater depth of field.    I used a macro lens for some close-ups.  These are female and immature rufous.  Much of the footage is slo-mo.  The chirping sounds are the birds alarm calls.  They are always fighting over the feeders.

Note: the pollen dutifully carried on the beak at 1:24.

An eye blink at 1:40.

Now that they are gone, I’m getting that “abandoned” feeling, but I am leaving my feeders with nectar because the local birders told me that Anna’s hummingbird(Calypte anna) may stop by in the fall.

The photos:

I tried to keep track of who was who around the feeder by compiling mug shots.  Unfortunately, the cast of characters shifted too fast to make that of much use.  Note the immature male black-chinned hummingbird
(Archilochus alexandri) with one tiny blue feather on his throat – BC2.


And some New Zealand photos from Will Savage:

Here a few more for your tank, all of marine mammals and taken in New Zealand during my one and only visit there in 2007.

A male New Zealand fur seal (Arctocephalus forsteri) sunning itself.
A pod of Hector’s Dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori), one of the smallest dolphins in the world, averaging about 4 feet long, and endemic to New Zealand waters. These are members of the sub-species found in waters to the south of the South Island.

Yellow-eyed penguin, (Megadyptes antipodes):

Takahe (P. hochstetteri), photographed at Tiritiri Matangi:

Brown quail (Coturnix ypsilophora):

Spotted shag (Phalacrocorax punctatus) feeding its young:

New Zealand kaka (Nestor meridionalis). It came to the veranda of our hotel and I fed it pieces of apple.

Colony of breeding shags, including spotted shag and others.

New Zealand scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae):


  1. Caldwell
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    At 10K feet in Colorado, we had hummers which stayed until there were hard freezes for several nights (into the 20’s, IIRC), then they’d all leave within a few days of each other. Apparently they lower their body temperature on cold nights.

    One year there were literally dozens of hummers trying to get at three feeders, and a single rufous was keeping them all away.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Hummingbirds use a daily hibernation called torpor to survive cold nights.
      “Torpor is a type of deep sleep where an animal lowers its metabolic rate by as much as 95%. A hummingbird’s night time body temperature is maintained at a hypothermic threshold that is barely sufficient to maintain life. This threshold is known as their set point.”

      A hummer just hangin’ out:

  2. mikeyc
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    It’s New Zealand, right? There just HAS to be a joke in there somewhere regarding “breeding Shags”.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted November 15, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      There’s always the one we North Islanders use about the South Island: where men are Men and sheep are nervous.

      Funnily enough, I’ve never heard one about breeding Shags. But in NZ if there’s a dirty joke to be made about something, you can bet it’s been made to the general hilarity of all.

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Great post. Thanks to the contributers

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