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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
This magnificent butterfly is a good example of mimicry. The butterfly imitates a poisonous swallowtail (Battus philenor) in shape and colour and is thus protected from predators. There are four different sub types of these butterflies, whose coloring varies strongly. Shown here is Limenitis arthemis astyanax, which is common in the east and southeast of the USA.
(Neotibicen canicularis) Indiana, USA – August 2019
Every year during the hottest days of the year, also called dog days, these cicadas are active. Usually they are not seen, but they are unmistakable. In large numbers they sit well camouflaged in trees and bushes and give their sometimes deafening concert.
One morning this specimen apparently sat a little cool in the dewy grass of our garden. This was the opportunity for a little photo session, which it endured almost motionless. After a while the cicada was reached by the sun’s rays and brought to operating temperature. It declared the session over, and buzzed up and away.
(Diabrotica undecimpunctata) Indiana, USA – August 2019
Native to North America, this photogenic beetle is a feared crop pest that loves to attack cucumbers, pumpkins and melons. It also transmits various plant diseases. Its larvae live underground and feed on the roots of corn and other plants. The corn and soy fields, which are planted in extensive monocultures, certainly aid the spread of this beetle.