Skip to main content

Treefrog, sundrops, and skimmer

A bit of a mix of different finds follows, all recorded here in the great state of Ohio in recent weeks...

Cope's Gray Treefrog, Hyla chrysoscelis, Hocking County. I was at a friend's place, and several of these little charmers were utilizing the swimming pool. The frog above is perched on the lip of the pool. One of them had even taken up residence in a wren nest box, and would peer from the entrance at his admirers!

This is a male, and he was busy vocalizing. You can see his deflated throat pouch. Cope's Gray Treefrogs sound superficially like the visually identical Gray Treefrog, Hyla versicolor, but are pretty easy to tell by voice. They emit an astonishingly loud raspy trill. Note the animal's conspicuous toe pads, which allow it to readily climb trees and other objects.

Sundrops, Oenothera fruticosa. These little primrose are rather uncommon and local in Ohio, occurring in perhaps half of our 88 counties. It is one of the more diminutive of the primroses; certainly but a shadow of the abundant and widespread Common Evening Primrose, O. biennis.

This species usually is found in relatively high quality, undisturbed sites, and these plants were growing in a wonderful Adams County cedar glade prairie, where they were companions to a number of rare flora.

The same prairie that produced the sundrops also yielded this dragonfly: a Spangled Skimmer. Note the conspicuous white stigmas, or marks on the outer leading edge of the wings. These aren't particularly common in Ohio, at least in my experience, and we were delighted to see this one.


Nina said…
I saw my first spangled skimmers this summer around my vernal pool. The blue of the males' abdomens is such a lovely blueberry-blue--these could easily become my favorites in the dragonfly world!

Popular posts from this blog

The Pinching Beetle, a rather brutish looking bug

The world is awash in beetles, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Few of them can match the intimidation factor of a Pinching Beetle, Lucanus capreolus, though. Those formidable looking mandibles look like they could slice off a finger.

Today was one of those coolly diverse days. I started off down in Fayette County, visiting the farm of a friend. He has restored about 25 acres of wetlands, and the response by the animal community has been nothing short of phenomenal. Blizzards of dragonflies of many species, amphibians galore, and nesting Blue-winged Teal, Pied-billed Grebe, and Sora. Among MANY other things. And all in a short two years. Add water and they will come.

Then, working my way home, I ducked into a Madison County cemetery that has a thriving population of Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrels, and shot images of our native prairie dog. Then, I stopped at a spot along Little Darby Creek, waded on in, and procured some pretty nice shots of various stream bluets and dancers. …

Calliope Hummingbird in central Ohio!

A hatch-year male Calliope Hummingbird strikes a pose. Small but tough, the hummingbird was feeding actively yesterday in 39 F temperatures. It frequents feeders and gardens at a home in Delaware County, Ohio, about a half-hour north of Columbus.

Fortunately, the wayward hummer appeared at the home of Tania and Corey Perry. Tania is a birder, and knew right away that the hummingbird was something special. For a while, the identification was up in the air, which isn't surprising. The Calliope Hummingbird used to be placed in its own genus, Stellula, but has recently been submerged into the genus Selasphorus, which includes Allen's, Broad-tailed, and Rufous hummingbirds. The latter two, especially, are quite similar to the Calliope in subadult plumage. Rufous is the default "vagrant" hummingbird here, with dozens of records and birds turning up annually. There is but one Ohio record of Allen's Hummingbird, from late fall/early winter 2009. Ditto the Calliope Hummi…

Snowy owl photography tactics - and things NOT to do

A gorgeous juvenile female snowy owl briefly catches your narrator with its piercing gaze. It's doing its Linda Blair/Exorcist trick - twisting its head 180 degrees to look straight behind. Owls have 14 neck vertebrae - double our number - which allows them such flexibility.

These visitors from the high arctic have irrupted big time into Ohio and adjacent regions, with new birds coming to light nearly every day. Probably 80 or so have thus far been reported in the state, and some of them have stuck around favored spots and become local celebrities.

I went to visit one of these birds this morning - the animal above, which was found last Friday by Doug Overacker and Julie Karlson at C.J. Brown Reservoir near Springfield. In the four days since its discovery, many people have visited as is nearly always the case when one of these white wonders appears near a large population center or is otherwise very accessible.

And as is always the case, people want to photograph the owls. And th…