In a previous post, I had shown photos of a Downy Woodpecker raising a young bird. Unfortunately, the birds were quite distant and difficult to photograph.
Then, in early July, I managed to get a close-up portrait of this male. Woodpeckers are not very shy and are usually very busy examining tree branches and bark for tidbits. By their loud knocking and hammering they attract attention from far away.
Mockingbirds, native to North America, are known for imitating sounds foreign to their species and incorporating them into their song. The catbird gets its name from the fact that it also has cat sounds in its repertoire.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
These pretty beetles come from Japan and were introduced to North America about one hundred years ago. Due to the lack of natural enemies, they developed into a plague and damage crops and ornamental plants.
The blossom of the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), on which the two love to play, also shows the feeding traces of the beetles.