Readers’ wildlife photos

We have another potpourri today, starting with two photos from reader Gary Miranda (all readers’ comments are indented):

I seldom see only four bushtits [Psaltriparus minimus] on my suet feeder (they usually come in hordes), but noticed in a close-up that the two in the foreground have different colored eyes. A little research revealed that the female bushtit has yellow eyes while the male’s are black. (Apparently, the irises of both sexes are entirely dark until after the first “pre-basic molt,” whatever that is.) Perhaps this is well-known, but it was news to me.

From reader Maya Markova in Bulgaria:

I am sending several wildlife photos made over the last weekend. I do not know whether you will like them, because they are not of very high quality and do not document remarkable objects, just the coming of spring 2019 to the Palearctic.
Kostina River: The landscape – the valley of the small Kostina river in the Balkan mountain range (Bulgaria, South-East Europe).
Fragrant hellebore, Helleborus odorus. This plant has always mystified me with its green petals.
A frog pair, most likely European common brown frog Rana temporaria, but I cannot bet. A guest house had covered its swimming-pool (inactive during the cold season) with a large blue plastic sheet, water had accumulated inside and several frogs were lying in it, including these lovers, Viewed from above, they looked like one. I am not sure that it was good for them to stay there, but anyway, there was no suitable pond around.

And three more photos from “Avise’s Birds of the World” by evolutionist John Avise:

Burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia, photographed in California:

Greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), photographed in South Africa:

Horned grebe, Podiceps auritus, photographed in California:




  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    ooooh, the Grebe photo is very artistic – beautiful things going on there…

    • rickflick
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      The eye is the color of a maraschino cherry.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Nice photos. The feeder looks new, never seen one cleaner.

  3. mfdempsey1946
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    In the Kostina River photo, the contrast between the rushing, foaming water and the stark brown bleakness of the bare trees and the land is very striking.

  4. varney33
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I always love your photos. But what LINE doyou mean? Jf

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      @varney33 I answered this question of yours back in October 2018! You are referring to your email notifications where each new comment deposits an email in your inbox. At the top each email says:

      “Respond to this comment by replying above this line”

      Just IGNORE that part of the notification. If you wish to reply to that particular comment then click the blue “Reply” button in the email or do it via the white bell top right in your WordPress account [If you have one].

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink


      jf isn’t a legit email – you can’t have a space & I’ve tried without the space.

  5. Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    An interesting set.
    Just a guess, but the hellebore may rely on its scent and not typical flower color to attract pollinators. Since it blooms early on ground that is rather barren from winter, perhaps it does not need to bother with added color to stand out.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Great assortment today. Thanks contributors. After seeing those flying flamingoes I thought to myself- “I don’t think I’ve ever seen flying flamingoes.”

  7. Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I was particularly interested in the Burrowing Owl and went to the link. Very interesting ecology for an owl. I like what the humans are doing to help it survive, I try to do the same for my locals.

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