Readers’ wildlife photos

As I’m now in Chicago, the readers’ wildlife photos will now resume, and I have all that were sent me earlier. But do send me more, as I can always use them.

Today we have contributions from four readers. The first is from Bruce Lyon, who, though a professor of ornithology/evolutionary biology, also photographed last night’s blood moon, which was not only reddish and close to the earth, but underwent a total lunar eclipse in parts of the world, including the UK. Bruce’s photos and comment:

You sometimes post images of interesting moon events. Tonights blood moon was pretty spectacular in Santa Cruz. A couple of trophies are attached.

Michael Glenister weighs in with a view of the blood moon from Vancouver, B.C.:

Stephen Barnard sent photos of his bald eagle Desi (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), who nests yearly on Stephen’s Idaho ranch with his eagle wife Lucy:

Desi being harassed by a Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), and another of him taking off.

And a lovely hummingbird photographed by reader Ken in East Mesa, Arizona:

Southwest sunset: Costa’s hummingbird (Calypte costae):


  1. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Beautiful! I saw the blood moon late last night. It was a rare moment to have clear skies.

  2. Andrea Kenner
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Wow! A beautiful group of photos!

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    When my eyes reached the takeoff photo WOW! So intense! The blue background behind the … how do you say the feathers are spread out… I can sense the direction and energy in the bird.Excellent photo, and excellent all around of course!

    The moon was exceptionally bright last night but the fresh snow I thought was contributing to the illusion…

  4. Bruce Lyon
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Jerry thought readers might be interested in the details of how I photographed the moon. I do not have a telescope but my 500mm Canon lense, combined with a 1.4 teleconverter (1.4 magnification) makes for the equivalent of a 700mm lens, or a 14 magnification setup, not too far from a telescope. I used a tripod, a cable release and locked the mirror up to reduce camera shake. I used a camera with a full frame sensor (Canon 6D) so no additional cropping). My 7D body has a sensor that crops the image to give a 1.6 magnification. So with that set up when I shoot birds I get a 22 times magnification—just like shooting through a scope and almost like cheating. But I pay a price and often get a sore back lugging the damn equipment around.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Excellent results. Only partly clear here so I only got a quick look and did not photograph the event.
      The weight of equipment is one reason I’m shooting with micro four thirds now. Panasonic GH5s. Another win is the flexible display which you can orient in many directions so I can shoot low to the ground without having to crawl. With my aging back that’s a real advantage. 😎

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        I took all my photos before the full eclipse because I didn’t want to use a tripod (the moon was dark enough that a longer exposure was needed that would make things blurry if hand holding, especially with my 300mm prime lens) as it was late at night when I should be sleeping and -20C outside so I just wanted to be quick.

      • Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        In my experience, the electronic viewfinder and the autofocus capabilities of the micro four thirds (MFT) format are big negatives compared to Bruce’s Canon kit, especially for action shots like birds in flight. (I have the same lens and extender, and also a GH4). The MFT format is great for almost all photography and for video, and I’ll take the GH4 on trips where wildlife photography isn’t the priority. (BTW, I have the Leica 100-400 zoom for the GH4 and I’m not happy with the sharpness at 400 (800mm equivalent).)

        • rickflick
          Posted January 21, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          You’re probably right about the weakness of the electric viewfinder. My GH5s has an improved autofucus and it’s designed for video more than stills. There may be a software download from Panasonic for the GH4 that might help.
          The Lumix lens isn’t the best, but it’s fairly cheap.

          • Posted January 21, 2019 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

            They’re superb for video — far better than the full-frame DSLRs IMO.

  5. Jenny Haniver
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I second three other remarks: Beautiful! Wow! WOW!

  6. Mark R.
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Glad to have RWP back. Nice batch to boot!

  7. Posted January 21, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    These are all wonderful… thanks!

  8. Posted January 22, 2019 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    The last hummingbird looks great! Those purple fleshy things are a frill used to woo females, if my memory serves.


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