12-spotted skimmer

Photographed on the banks of Frances Short Pond, Flagstaff, Arizona in mid-July, this is a 12-Spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella). Thank you to MrRoarke of Reddit for the help in identifying this beauty. Advertisements

What’s With the V-Formation?

It is an inspiring, though common, thing to see flocks of ducks or geese flying overhead in V-formation. A duck flying alone is also beautiful, as is this mallard… http://www.wilcephotos.com/Northern-Arizona/JMW-Birds-Bees-Etc/i-qndbZbn/0/Th/BIF-Duck%3B%20BubblingPonds%3B%20IMG_9073%20C1PSD1-Th.jpg … but a group of birds synchronizing or coordinating their behavior presents us with a different kind of beauty.  This group of Canada Geese flying … More What’s With the V-Formation?

Monarch Discovery

Google Doodles— the graphics atop Google’s splash page that change every day—are sometimes worth taking the time to consider. Such was the case with the 9 January 2016 Google Doodle. The Doodle acknowledges the “41st Anniversary of the Discovery of the Mountain of the Butterflies” The mountain in Mexico where the monarchs “overwinter” is the … More Monarch Discovery

The Ducks That Swim in Circles

On a recent trip to the wonderful Sedona Wetlands Preserve, described in a previous post on this blog, I shot video footage of a fascinating group behavior by ducks, specifically Northern Shovelers. Shovelers are “dabbling” or surface-feeding ducks. The species has evolved a collaborative feeding strategy. Swimming in what John Andrew Eastman calls a “pinwheel” … More The Ducks That Swim in Circles