Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Barbara Wilson sent us a fine passel of bird photos as well as a few plant pix. Her captions are indented:

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) all decked out in fresh breeding plumage, ready to wow the females. (Corvallis, Oregon, 11 April 2019)”
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens) feeding on a catkin of Hooker’s Willow (Salix hookeriana).  These guys move fast and live in thickets, so I thought I’d never get a photo, but they’re also fearless (being pretty much uncatchable) so I got lots of tries.  I think it was actually eating the catkin (a great source of nectar); it stayed at that catkin longer than it needed to grab one of the pollinating insects.  (Lincoln City, Oregon, 6 April 2019).

Wild Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) have begun walking around the city, displaying in lawns and on roads.  There is a down side to that, even for the turkeys.  This little flock was walking aimlessly, peering at their dead fourth companion, when we drove up.  We might imagine them mourning, but considering that they were still in the road where they could get squished, I think they were just confused.  (Corvallis, Oregon, 8 April 2019)

Western Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is a lovely sign of spring in shallow wetlands of the west coast.  The central spike has dozens of tiny flowers, advertised by both the yellow bract and a strong, slightly unpleasant odor that attracts beetles and flies.  At the peak of bloom you can smell it as you drive by the meadows where it grows.  (Lincoln City, Oregon, 7 April 2019)

Bath time for tiny birds at Luckiamute wildlife area, Polk County, Oregon, 30 March 2019.  Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus), Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus), and Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa).


Common Raven (Corvus corax) at the beach.  (Humboldt Lagoon State Park, California, 18 January 2019)



  1. W.T. Effingham
    Posted April 13, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Excellent images with the various subjects. The warbler looks as if he is giving us a warning (I may be little, but bigness and badness are two different things!). The ravens silhouettes appear to cover 360° of surveillance (Everything ok your way? Yep,you? Yep….how about now?)

  2. Posted April 13, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    All very interesting. We have a lot of the eastern skunk cabbage, and it is definitely named correctly. Interesting that the smell attracts visitors to carrion, which then become its pollinators.

    • Posted April 13, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      I recall the eastern variety melting a snow hole around it in late winter. I don’t know if the western variety can do that trick. A wetland full of western skunk cabbage is indeed a colorful sight to behold. Every February I start watching for it as the first harbinger of spring.

      • Posted April 13, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        The melting-a-hole-in-the-snow thing is normally irrelevant to western skunk cabbages because of our mild winters. I’m sure they do get snowed on sometimes, and I don’t know what happens then. (I am not out and about when it snows.)

  3. Michael Fisher
    Posted April 13, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Thnx for photos Barbara. Birdie bath time very cute. From reading the link I gather the warbler is a mountain bird & yet here it is at sea level 50km from the Pacific.

    • Posted April 13, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      They spend the winter here at low elevations. They can get insects much of the winter, and they branch out to eating small seeds.

  4. Posted April 13, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Lovely bird pics! Speaking of birds, I enjoyed watching David Attenborough’s “The Egg: Life’s Perfect Invention”. It looks like the whole episode is available here:

  5. Posted April 13, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful photos! (except for the unfortunate turkey)

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted April 13, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Except for the turkeys and ravens, I’ve never seen the other birds. They’re cuties. I’ve not smelled skunk cabbage and won’t go out of my way to smell it.

  7. Noellie
    Posted May 4, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    wonderful photos. I happened upon a Eastern Whippoorwill the other night. I love bird watching moments.

%d bloggers like this: