On September 1, my wife called me to the window to come and see a “rock squirrel party.” Rock squirrels (Otospermophilus variegatus ) are the little rodents that we first met when we moved to our current home in Flagstaff, Arizona—and were a bit mystified. The genus otospermophilus is a group of ground squirrels. Our … More Rock Squirrels
A week ago my wife and I visited my home town, Claremont California. Whenever I go there I prioritize taking a walk along Thompson Creek. As we walked, something caught my eye—a hawk on a 15-foot-high eucalyptus branch. I began to photograph what was apparently a red-tailed hawk. The next thing I know, another hawk … More Red-tailed hawk in Claremont, CA
It’s been a frightfully warm winter, but not so warm as to completely melt the ice on our fair city’s beloved municipal pond near a couple of our public schools. Frances Short was an “educator and city councilperson” in Flagstaff. (For more information, click here.) The pond and its immediate environs are home to waterfowl … More Waterfowl on Frances Short Pond (Flagstaff)
See my newly posted video of a male red-winged blackbird. It’s pretty fun to watch him puffing himself up like a bagpipe and then producing his own piping call.
It’s always nice when I discover that my camera has seen more than I did when I took a shot. That has happened lately, as spring gets ready to turn to summer, when I see “Well well, the little creature seems to be building a nest!” (Of course I am also very aware of seeing … More Spring (or at least nest-building material) is in the mouth
Ordinary Cameras, Extraordinary Encounters:Taking Wildlife Photos From the Heart A Workshop Led by Jim Wilce, and Sponsored by the Northern Arizona Audubon Society Saturday, June 24, 8-10 a. m., Kachina Wetlands (near Flagstaff, Arizona) What do you want from outdoor/ wildlife photographs? How can you take photos that you and others will enjoy? And how … More Photo Walk With Jim Wilce, June 24
This nature preserve is a “wow!” kind of place. A theme of my work of late is birds engaging in aerial conflict. This shot, and this one, give you a sense of the kinds of conflict I saw many times in my recent visit to Upper Newport Bay.
One of my favorite places in Flagstaff is Frances Short Pond. It is a hotspot for members of the Order Odonata— dragonflies and damselflies like the one below, which is, I believe, a “bluet.” But now the show I promised—a shaky video of two orange dragonflies and their mid-air mating dance. The still photos on … More Dragonflies mating mid-air
The other day, I came in from a photographic moment down on my knees in the front yard. This put my legs in direct contact with a pile of dead plant matter. So I should have seen this coming— a hitchhiker apparently crawled onto my blue jeans. So it was not until I came inside … More Hitchhiker butterfly
Back in April I visited Frances Short Pond here in Flagstaff— a pond fished by man (sometimes woman) and osprey alike. Blackbirds and grackles occupy trees and the marshy island in the middle of the small pond. Here is a great-tailed grackle (I think), caught mid-hop. Click here to see the full-sized photo of the … More Reflective great(-tailed) hop
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.
So, as I mentioned on this site yesterday, I’ve joined Reddit, where I posted a query as to what sort of insect I had caught in the camera’s eye. The answer? What I saw was a “Robber fly, Wyliea mydas. According to the American Museum of Natural History this fly mimics the infamous Tarantula Hawk,” … More Now identified: Not a beetle, a fly!
I’m posting this on Reddit ( /r/whatsthisbug). For you who once saw me post HERE rather regularly, I apologize for my long absence and offer this strikingly beautiful insect (a beetle?). I was seeing this orange-winged insect (probably a beetle) this spring, then suddenly it reappeared today in the Rio de Flag, Cheshire neighborhood, Flagstaff, … More Unidentified insect: Beetle?
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?
Anywhere you see hawks you are likely to see them being chased by smaller birds and not just chasing after them. The following photos (some of which are links to wilcephotos.com) tell two stories. The first story consists of a single photograph of what we might expect to be most common—a bigger, more carnivorous bird … More Hawks: Chasing and Being Chased