Category Archives: Wildlife

The Swift Fox

The swift fox is small, weighing only five to seven pounds fully grown and gets it name from its ability to run up to 30 mph. There is some confusion about its relationship to the kit fox, which is slightly smaller, but is almost identical in appearance. Some mammalogists consider them to be separate species, while others consider the kit fox to be a subspecies of the swift fox. To add to the confusion, the term “kit fox” is used to describe the young of any fox species. The swift fox inhabits the Great Plains region from the Texas panhandle northward into Canada, while the kit fox, resides in the desert southwest.

To view images larger and sharper, just click anywhere in a photo and click on sides to move through them. 

Adult swift fox, on the left, and young which are born in March and April and remain with parents until fall.
All of these swift fox photos are of the same family group photographed near their den on the Rita Blanca National Grassland in the northwest corner of the Texas panhandle.
These interesting and beautiful animals were close to extinction in the 1930's due to predator control efforts aimed at wolves and coyotes.
These interesting and beautiful animals were near extinction in the 1930’s due to predator control efforts aimed at wolves and coyotes. They have since recovered nicely and are no longer threatened.
Siblings engaging in a little playful fighting.
Siblings engaging in a little playful fighting.
Unlike most foxes, swift foxes use dens year-round. The dens have several openings, making it easier to escape coyotes, their primary predator, by diving underground.
Unlike most foxes, swift foxes use dens year-round. The dens have several openings, making it easier to escape coyotes, their primary predator, by diving underground.
They are primarily nocturnal, particularly in hot weather, when they may leave their dens only in the evening and return in early morning. In cooler weather they may exit their dens for short periods during the day. They often stretch after exiting their dens as shown in this photo.
They are primarily nocturnal, particularly in hot weather, when they may leave their dens only in the evening and return in early morning. In cooler weather they may exit their dens for short periods during the day. They often stretch after exiting their dens as shown in this photo.
Swift foxes are omnivorous and will eat small mammals, birds, insects, lizards, grasses and fruits.
Swift foxes are omnivorous and will eat small mammals, birds, insects, lizards, grass and berries.
Swift fox pups are born in March or April and stay with their parents until fall.
Swift fox pups are born in March or April and stay with their parents until fall. The warm color in several of these photos results from late afternoon light. This and the preceding images were made on October 8th, 2015, this one just before sunset.
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Swift foxes have very large ears and have excellent night vision. This and the following photos were made mid to late afternoon on October 9th, 2015.
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Even though they have sharp teeth and are themselves predators, they sometimes become prey of larger predators like coyotes, which usually don’t eat them, but probably kill them because they compete for much of the same food.
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Swift foxes usually mate for life, but only live three to six years in the wild. They have been known to live up to 14 years in captivity.

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Stretching And Yawning

All images on this site are copyrighted ©Larry D Brown and may not be used in any manner without permission.

Birds And Butterflies

Birds and butterflies photographed from March through mid September 2015, in Oklahoma and presented in chronological order.

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Male Northern Cardinal, Selman Ranch, Harper County
Male Northern Cardinal, Selman Ranch, Harper County
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker, Selman Ranch
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker, Selman Ranch
Osprey, Ft.Supply Lake
Osprey, Ft.Supply Lake
White-faced Ibis, Ft. Supply Lake
White-faced Ibis, Ft. Supply Lake
Male Lesser Prairie Chicken Courtship Display, Selman Ranch
Male Lesser Prairie Chicken Courtship Display, Selman Ranch
Common Tern, Ft. Supply Lake
Common Tern, Ft. Supply Lake
Common Nighthawk, Harper County
Common Nighthawk, Harper County
Yellow-headed Blackbird, Ft. Supply Lake
Male Yellow-headed Blackbird, Ft. Supply Lake
Male Northern Bob-white Quail, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Male Northern Bob-white Quail, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Wavy-leaf Thistle, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Black Swallowtail Butterfly on Wavy-leaf Thistle, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Fledgeling Northern Cardinal, Ft. Supply Lake
Fledgeling Northern Cardinal, Ft. Supply Lake
Killdeer, Ft.Supply Lake
Killdeer, Ft.Supply Lake
American Kestrel Chasing Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
American Kestrel Chasing Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper Wildlife Management Area
Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Two Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Boiling Springs Stare Park
Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Two Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Boiling Springs State Park
Two Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Two Dark Morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Boiling Springs State Park
Monarch Butterfly on Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Selman Ranch
Monarch Butterfly on Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Selman Ranch

Spring Shorebird Migration

These shorebird photos were made between April 17th and May 12th, 2015 at Fort Supply Lake, Oklahoma. None of them stay at the lake for long, but stop for a few days to rest and re-fuel before continuing northward to their nesting grounds.

To see these images larger and sharper, click anywhere on one and advance using arrow keys or click on sides. 

The beautiful and graceful American Avocets have been visitors to the lake for the last few years.
The beautiful and graceful American Avocets have been visitors to the lake for the last few years.
This male is presenting his courtship display in preparation for the upcoming nesting season.
This male is presenting his courtship display in preparation for the upcoming nesting season.
Avocets feed by sweeping their bills side to side to catch crustaceans , aquatic insects and seeds.
Avocets feed by sweeping their bills from side to side to catch crustaceans , aquatic insects and seeds.
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In winter, the rust colored head and neck area becomes gray.
Avocets have been known to nest in this area, but this flock moved on, probably farther north.
Avocets have been known to nest in this area, but this flock moved on, probably farther north.
Willets are some of the larger members of the sandpiper family.
Willets are some of the larger members of the sandpiper family.
They look similar to the greater  yellowlegs, but have gray legs and their bill is thicker.
They look similar to the greater yellowlegs, but have gray legs and their bill is thicker.

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They can be identified in flight by the black and white wing markings which the yellowlegs lack.
They can be identified in flight by the black and white wing markings which the yellowlegs lack.
Smaller than the willet, the Wilson's phalarope is another member of the sandpiper family.
Smaller than the willet, the Wilson’s phalarope is another member of the sandpiper family.
Believe it or not, this is a female and the bird in the previous photo is a male.
In most bird species the male is the more colorful, however the Wilson’s phalarope is an exception. The more colorful and boldly patterned bird is the female.
After laying eggs, the female Wilson's phalarope deserts her mate and leaves him to care for the young while she seeks another mate and lays more eggs.
After laying eggs, the female Wilson’s phalarope deserts her mate and leaves him to care for the young while she seeks another mate and lays more eggs.
While feeding, they spin in circles to create a whirlpool in the water which draws food to the surface.
While feeding, they spin in circles to create a whirlpool in the water which draws food to the surface.

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The Baird's sandpiper travels an amazing distance during migration. They winter in South America and nest in the high-arctic. Many individuals make the 9,300 mile trip in as little as little as five weeks.
The Baird’s sandpiper travels an amazing distance during migration. They winter in South America and nest in the high-arctic. Many individuals make the 9,300 mile trip in as little as little as five weeks.

Ducks

The following photos were made in March of 2014 at Ft. Supply Lake in Oklahoma. Ducks are some of the fastest flying birds in the world and are a challenge to photograph in flight.

To see images larger and sharper, just click anywhere in the first one and then click on right side to advance through them. 

Green-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
This and the following five photos are of American widgeons.
This and the following eight photos are of American widgeons.
The duck in front is a male and the one behind a female American widgeon.
The duck in front is a male and the one behind a female American widgeon.
Although these ducks are still migrating and haven't yet reached their nesting grounds, they are preparing by what are called courtship flights.
Although these ducks are still migrating and haven’t yet reached their nesting grounds, they are preparing by what are called courtship flights. In courtship flights, one female (at top in this photo) and several males fly together and the female ultimately chooses the one she is most impressed with as her mate.

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The male is in the  foreground and the female behind.
The male is in the foreground and the female behind.
Male American Widgeon
Male American Widgeon

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This and the following five photos are of northern pintail ducks.
This and the following five photos are of northern pintail ducks.
The duck at top center is a female, the others are males.
The duck at top center is a female, the others are males.
Male Northern Pintail
Male Northern Pintail

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Male and female mallard ducks. Mallards are sometimes called green heads because of the males head which looks bright green when the light is at certain angles.
Male and female mallard ducks. Mallards are sometimes called green heads because of the males head which looks bright green when the light is at certain angles.

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All photographs on this site are © copyrighted by Larry D. Brown and may not be used in any form without permission.

 

Boiling Springs Bucks: November and December 2014

The 2014 white-tail rut didn’t seem to have as many bucks with impressive racks as in the last couple of years, possibly because of the drought this area has experienced the last few years. These photos were captured between November 15th and December 2nd, 2014, in Boiling Springs State Park, Oklahoma.

To see images larger and sharper, just click on one and then on the right side to move through them. 

During the rut, bucks will often stick out their tongue to aid their sense of smell.
During the rut, bucks will often stick out their tongue to aid their sense of smell.

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The frost hadn't yet melted in the shady foreground area, resulting in a different color from he sunny background.
The frost hadn’t yet melted in the shady foreground area, resulting in a different color from the sunny background.

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Note the mangled ear and broken antler tine on this one, no doubt resulting from a fight with a competing buck. During the rut, bucks sleep very little and expend so much energy pursuing does and fighting other bucks that they lose a considerable amount of weight.
Note the mangled ear and broken antler tine on this one, no doubt resulting from a fight with a competing buck. During the rut, bucks sleep very little and expend so much energy pursuing does and fighting other bucks that they lose a considerable amount of weight.

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Note the blood on his antler. It more than likely was deposited there from a buck which lost a battle for dominance with this guy.
Note the blood on his antler. It more than likely was deposited there from a buck which lost a battle for dominance with this guy.

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Early Autumn In The Wichita Mountains

A selection of photos made from late September through mid October, 2014 in Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.

To see photos larger and sharper, please click anywhere in an image and click on sides to move through them. 

White-tailed Doe Before Sunrise on September 24th
White-tailed Doe Before Sunrise, September 24th
Bull Elk
Bull Elk
Bull Elk Bugling Shortly After Sunrise
Bugling Bull Elk, Shortly After Sunrise, September 24th
Elk Cow At Sunrise On September 25th
Elk Cow At Sunrise, September 25th

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Bull Elk, early Morning October 3rd
Bull Elk, Early Morning, October 3rd
Lone Bison Bull, Late Afternoon, October 3rd
Lone Bison Bull, Late Afternoon, October 3rd
Near Sunset, October 3rd
Near Sunset, October 3rd
Granite Boulders Just After Sunrise, October 4th
Granite Boulders Just After Sunrise, October 4th
White-tailed Buck, Early Morning October 4th
White-tailed Bucks, All Early Morning, October 4th

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Bull Bison, Morning, October 4th
Bison Bull, Morning, October 4th
Maximillian Sunflowers, Mid-morning, October 4th
Maximillian Sunflowers, Mid-morning, October 4th
French Lake Before Sunrise, October16th
French Lake Before Sunrise, October16th
Bull Elk, Early Morning, October 16th
Bull Elk, Early Morning, October 16th

Blue Sky and Blue Sage

Photos made between June 21 and September 13, 2014 on Cooper Wildlife Management Area. The Hal and Fern Cooper Wildlife Management Area covers 16,080 acres in Woodward and Harper Counties. It is comprised primarily of upland mixed-grass and sagebrush prairie with 4,500 acres of river-bottom. The area is managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and an Oklahoma hunting license, fishing license or wildlife conservation passport is required for entry.

To see images larger and sharper, please click anywhere in a photo and use arrows to scroll through them. 

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Blue Sky
Gray Hairstreak Butterfly on Texas Frogfruit
Gray Hairstreak Butterfly on Texas Frogfruit
Spotted Ground Squirrrel
Spotted Ground Squirrel
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Slender Dayflower
Female Northern Bobwhite Quail
Female Northern Bobwhite Quail
Male Northern Bobwhite Quail
Male Northern Bobwhite Quail
Spectacle Pod
Spectacle Pod
Cassius Blue Butterfly
Cassius Blue Butterfly on Texas Frogfruit
Sensitive Briar
Sensitive Briar
Silvery Nightshade
Silvery Nightshade
Prickly Poppy
Prickly Poppy
Prickly Poppy
Prickly Poppy
Bush Morning Glory
Bush Morning Glory

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Blue Sage

 

White-tails And Cottontails

To see these images larger and sharper, please click anywhere in a photo and use the arrows to navigate through them. 

White-tailed fawns and moms and eastern cottontail rabbits photographed in Boiling Springs State Park.

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These deer photos were made from July 2nd, through July 23rd, 2014.

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Does often hide their fawns in tall grass while they are foraging. if you find a fawn like this please leave it alone, its mother is almost always nearby and it is not abandoned and in need of rescue as some people assume. This one is old enough to easily outrun a person, however.
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When white-tailed deer run, they often hold their tails high. They will also move their tails while holding them high to warn other deer of danger. This is probably the origin of the term “high-tailing it”.

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Fawn With Yearling Buck
This fawn and yearling buck are grazing in dew covered grass.

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Fawns can often be seen chasing each other or running just for the fun of it. Of course they are preparing for the day when they may need to outrun a predator.
Fawns can often be seen chasing each other or running just for the fun of it. Of course they are preparing for the day when they may need to outrun a predator.
This fawn is cleaning its tail.
This fawn is cleaning its tail.
Deer are most commonly seen in early morning and near and after sunset. All of these photos were made in early morning.
Deer are most commonly seen in early morning and near and after sunset. All of these photos were made in early morning.
This fawn was chasing its mother trying to nurse, but she kept running away.
This fawn was chasing its mother trying to nurse, but she kept running away.

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White-tailed deer both graze and browse.
White-tailed deer both graze and browse (eat leaves and fruit growing on trees and shrubs).

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The eastern cottontail is the most commonly seen rabbit in Oklahoma. The swamp rabbit can be seen in eastern Oklahoma and the desert cottontail can be seen in the panhandle.
The eastern cottontail is the most commonly seen rabbit in Oklahoma. The swamp rabbit can be seen in eastern Oklahoma and the desert cottontail can be seen in the panhandle.
More cottontails have been seen here than in the past several years, probably because the extreme drought is lessening.
More cottontails have been seen here than in the past several years, probably because the extreme drought is lessening.
This cottontail is nibbling grass among gaillardia or indian blanket, which is Oklahoma's state wildflower.
This cottontail is nibbling grass among gaillardia or indian blanket, which is Oklahoma’s state wildflower. These cottontail  photos were made June 30th and July 21st, 2014.

All images on this site are copyrighted © by Larry D. Brown and may not be used in any manner without permission.

Shorebirds

These images were all made in April and May of 2014 at Fort Supply Lake, Oklahoma with the exception of the snowy plover which was made on the salt flats of the Cimarron River.
To see photos larger and sharper, click anywhere in a photo and use arrows to move through them.
This common shorebird is a member of the plover family.
The killdeer is a commonly seen member of the plover family. Although classified as a shorebird it is often seen far from water.
The name comes from the call of "kill-deer" or "kill-dee". They are known from their hurt-wing display which is used to lure intruders away from their nests.
The name comes from the call of “kill-deer” or “kill-dee”. They are known for their hurt-wing display which is used to lure intruders away from their nests.
The American avocet is a large migratory shorebird which is seldom seen far from water.
The American avocet is a large migratory shorebird which is seldom seen far from water.
They don’t mind wading into deeper water because their webbed feet enable them to swim and even dive.
American avocets are graceful flyers.
Avocets are graceful flyers.

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They often nap standing up  with their long upturned bill tucked beneath a wing.
They often nap standing up with their long upturned bill tucked beneath a wing.
They feed by dipping their beaks and sometimes their heads into water to catch their food which consists of small invertebrates.
They feed by dipping their beaks and sometimes their heads into water to catch their food which consists of small invertebrates.
Avocets migrate in small flocks such as this one consisting of about 24 birds, which was photographed at Ft. Supply Lake.
Avocets migrate in small flocks such as this one consisting of about 24 birds.
The spotted sandpiper is a member of the very large sandpiper family of shorebirds. It is one of the best known American shorebirds and has the distinctive habit of constantly bobbing its tail.
The spotted sandpiper is a small member of the very large sandpiper family of shorebirds. It is one of the best known American shorebirds and has the distinctive habit of constantly bobbing its tail.
The Baird's sandpiper is truly a world traveler. They winter in South America and nest in northern Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. It is thought that they may fly up to 4,000 miles non-stop during migration.
The Baird’s sandpiper is truly a world traveler. They winter in South America and nest in northern Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. It is thought that they may fly up to 4,000 miles non-stop during migration.
The crow-sized marbled godwit is one of the larger members of the sandpiper family.
The crow-sized marbled godwit is one of the larger members of the sandpiper family.
Snowy plovers are small migrants to this area and survive on large flat areas of sand or salt with little vegetation where few other birds can exist.
Snowy plovers are small migrants to this area and survive on large flat areas of sand or salt with little vegetation where few other birds can exist.
This photo was made on the salt flats of the Cimarron River where the birds and their nests are almost invisible against the white background of salt.
This photo was made on the salt flats of the Cimarron River where the birds and their nests are almost invisible against the white background of salt.

Winter 2013-14 in Boiling Springs

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Field Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Dark-eyed Junco

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