American Robin

(Turdus migratorius)
Indiana, USA – June 2020

In North America, the American Robin is what the blackbird is in Europe. It has a similar appearance, similar behavior, is just as common and omnipresent and occupies the same niche as the blackbird. Here it is called “American Robin”. However, it is not closely related to the European robin.

Raven

( Corvus corax)
Arizona, USA – July 2017

An impressive appearance is this raven in the desert of Arizona. Of course he knows exactly where the tourists stop and where there might be something to get hold of. They can even memorize the cars of generous tourists and follow them on their round through the national park.

Raven in the Petrified Forest national park

Northern Cardinal

(Cardinalis cardinalis)
Indiana, USA – June 2020

The probably most striking bird in North America is the Northern Cardinal with its bright red plumage. The female is much simpler and more inconspicuously colored but quite attractive. When I photographed the two in our garden, they all had beaks full of work to raise the offspring.

Northern Cardinal ♂︎
Northern Cardinal ♀︎

Downy Woodpecker

(Dryobates pubescens)
Indiana, USA – May 2020

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America and grows to about the size of a sparrow. It gets its name from the fluffy white downs on its back.

I was watching this male in the trees on a neighboring property and was trying to take a picture of him among all the branches, twigs and leaves when suddenly a young woodpecker appeared, fed by the adult bird.

The pictures with the young bird are unfortunately not as good as I would like them to be, but at least they have documentary value.

Downy Woodpecker
Male feeding fledgling
Fledgling

Common Eastern Bumblebee

(Bombus impatiens)
Indiana, USA – April 2020

After a rather cold night I had the opportunity for a small photo session with this somewhat hypothermic bumblebee. It was still stiff and dazed, but quite photogenic.

Common Eastern Bumblebee

Black-bordered Lemon Moth

(Marimatha nigrofimbria)
Indiana, USA – October 2019

This small and rather inconspicuous moth caught my attention last autumn. It sat motionless at the top of a blade of grass and seemed to enjoy the morning sun.

I quickly screwed the macro lens onto the camera and a small photo session with the small, patient moth was held, and I was able to get quite close to it. Until it was suddenly gone
– just disappeared. I had not seen it flutter away, it was not lying in the grass either. Strange!

With that the session was over and I returned to the house to stow the camera. I turned it over and there the moth sat calmly at the inner edge of the lens hood. Through the window I released it into freedom.

Landscapes

New Mexico, USA – March 2019

The steppe landscape of the prairie offers a wide view of distant mountain panoramas. The stormy weather drives the clouds over the sky in large shreds and provides an impressive play of light and color. It is a feast for the eyes and the scenery seems almost surreal.

Very Large Array

New Mexico, USA – March 2019

The “Very Large Array” (VLA) is an observatory consisting of 27 radio telescopes with a diameter of 25 meters each. The system is installed on a Y-shaped rail system of 21 km length each and can be positioned on it in different configurations. It was built in the 1970s and, following extensive modernization, has been state-of-the-art since 2012.

We drove there and back twice, as a snowstorm had just set in on our arrival on the first day, making photography impossible. We decided to try again the next day. After all, these detours from our main route meant two trips of 160 km back and forth.

On the second day it was still stormy and bitterly cold, but I was able to take some nice photos in quite dramatic light conditions. The cows are omnipresent there – after all we are in cowboy country.

White Sands

New Mexico, USA – March 2019

The Chihuahua Desert is the largest of the North American deserts and is located in the border area between the USA and Mexico. White Sands is part of it and is located in the south of the US state of New Mexico. It is indeed white and the largest gypsum desert in the world. When we were there, there was a strong storm that made it difficult to stay and photograph outside. The sand flew into my eyes and prevented a clear view. Fortunately, the camera survived this mission undamaged.

On the way to White Sands. The storm drives sand and dust clouds through the desert.
Dunes of gypsum pile up over the plain.
Soap tree yuccas (Yucca elata) are able to thrive in the constantly changing landscape of the wandering dunes.
A 13 km long road leads into the unreal (and inhospitable) world of the white dunes.

Chinese Mantis

(Tenodera sinensis)
Indiana, USA – September 2019

In the last century, various species of mantis were introduced to North America from all over the world because they were hoped to be useful in pest control. For some time their eggs, which were deposited in so-called ootheques, were sold to establish praying mantises in gardens.

However, they were not successful because their populations could not adapt quickly enough to the pest plagues that occurred. Their distinct cannibalism also stands in the way of their population development. In addition, they eat everything they can overwhelm and make no difference whether their prey is pests or beneficials. Mice, reptiles and even small birds can also fall prey to them.

Chinese Mantis ♂︎

The green variant is a pregnant female.

Chinese Mantis ♀︎
Chinese Mantis ♀︎