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.

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.

Red-spotted Purple Admiral

(Limenitis arthemis)
Indiana, USA – August 2019

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.

Red-spotted Purple Admiral
Red-spotted Purple Admiral

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

(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.

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

Japanese Beetles at Love Play

(Popillia japonica)
Indiana, USA – July 2019

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.

Japanese Beetle

The blossom of the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), on which the two love to play, also shows the feeding traces of the beetles.

Japanese Beetle

Flower Crab Spider with Prey

(Misumena vatia)
Indiana, USA – July 2019

This spider species, widespread in the northern hemisphere of the earth, usually sits well camouflaged on flowers, where it ambushes insects that visit them. It can adapt its color to its surroundings and varies between yellow, yellow-green and white.

The prey is quickly grabbed with the two enlarged pairs of forelegs and killed by a bite in the back of the neck. The spider can overpower prey, that is several times bigger than itself.

Flower Crab Spider

Paper Wasp

(Polistes metricus)
Indiana, USA – October 2018

This wasp species lives in North America and is quite common in human settlements. The images were taken with a macro lens and the wasp has thankfully held still long enough for me to achieve a greater depth of field using focus stacking.

Paper Wasp
Paper Wasp