Embryo & shell

This common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) and sibling did not make it past their embryo stage of development. The broken eggs were found this morning shortly after falling from the nest.

Eurasian jays may be to blame: these large birds are particularly active and efficient predators in the area. It is common to Continue reading

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Jay the ripper

Eurasian jay

Meet “Jay” the ripper… Credit: Yalakom

The past couple of days have been rough for the great tit couple that nests in front of my apartment building. An Eurasian jay viciously hunted down several of their fledglings, killing at least two and injuring three. Knowing Eurasian jays prey on great and blue tit chicks is one thing, witnessing the brutal hunt is another. I had never suspected my spring watch would take such a dramatic turn.

The great tits built their nest inside a street lamp post, 2.5 meters off the ground, a smart choice in an urban environment where nesting cavities are scarce. I kept an eye and ear on the nest to try guessing when the chicks would fledge, always a special moment to attend.

Two days ago, I was awoken by a concert of alarm calls. Two great tits were flying in circle around a high branch of the large oak tree that stands across from my window. A jay soon came in sight Continue reading

Season’s goslings

Some greylag goslings (Anser anser) from a nearby pond. The parents are impressively relaxed among humans and even approach those who sit on the benches, begging for food. Here are some photographs of this lovely family of seven taken with a 55-200mm Nikkor lens.

Location: Bayreuth, Germany


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Mountain goat nanny & kid

Mountain goat kid from the Chilcotin Mountains, BC, Canada. The baby was only a few days old at the time these photographs were taken. Unsecure and clumsy on the sheer rocky slopes, he was being carefully watched over and encouraged by his mother—the nanny.

Approaching mountain goats closely is challenging. These ungulates are perfectly adapted to steep, rocky terrain and inhabit remote, high-up areas that are often inaccesible to humans. Moreover, they are generally shy creatures. To sight this young goat taking its first faltering steps, we had to reach the mountain top, a 2-hour climb on a hazardous slope where rockfalls regularly occurred (see images below).

Location: Chilcotin Mountains, BC, Canada

Minuscule

A baby snail braving the elements in my garden this morning. I believe this is a young white-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis), one of the two species that inhabit my garden, the other being the garden snail (Cornu aspersum). Young snails are unaware of danger, curious and will easily get out of their little shell to peek at the outside world.

Location: Paris, France

A shelter for a blackbird chick

This Blackbird juvenile was fetched, unwell, on the side of the road, taken care of and released where it was found a couple days later. The parents took no more than 20 minutes find the fledgling after hearing his high pitched calls. They instantly recognized and welcoming him back. Before these pictures were taken, the hungry fledgling was given some banana-plum mix; some leftovers can be seen on the tip of its large bill.

You can read more about Blackbirds here.

Location: Bayreuth, Germany

Young Alpine Ibex

A female Alpine Ibex (Capra ibex) with kid having a snooze a few meters off the trail leading up to the Col de Fenestre, a mountain pass at the Mercantour National Park in the French Alps. For additional pictures of these ungulates and more information about the sightings and the area, click here.

Location: Saint-Martin-Vésubie, France