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Categorized by genus/species, placed chronologically by common name

    American Coot

    American Crow

    American Flamingo*

    American Goldfinch

    American Kestrel

    American Oystercatcher*

    American Robin

    American Tree Sparrow

    American White Pelican

    Bald Eagle

    Baltimore Oriole

    Barn Swallow

    Barnacle Goose*

    Belted Kingfisher

    Black-and-White Warbler

    Black-Capped Chickadee

    Black-Headed Gull*

    Black Vulture*

    Blue Jay

    Blue Tit*

    Blue-Winged Teal



    Broad-Winged Hawk

    Brown Creeper

    Brown-Headed Cowbird

    Brown Thrasher


    Canada Goose


    Cape May Warbler*

    Carolina Chickadee*

    Carolina Wren

    Cedar Waxwing

    Chipping Sparrow

    Common Gallinule

    Common Goldeneye

    Common Grackle

    Common Gull*

    Common Merganser

    Common Moorhen*

    Common Pochard*

    Common Redpoll

    Cooper's Hawk

    Dark-Eyed Junco


    Double-Crested Cormorant

    Downy Woodpecker

    Eastern Bluebird

    Eastern Goldfinch - See American Goldfinch

    Eastern Kingbird

    Eastern Meadowlark

    Eastern Phoebe

    Eastern Towhee

    Eastern Wood Pewee

    Eurasian Blackbird*

    Eurasian Collared Dove

    Eurasian Coot*

    Eurasian Jackdaw*

    Eurasian Magpie*

    Eurasian Tree Sparrow*

    European Serin*

    European Starling

    Fox Sparrow

    Golden-Crowned Kinglet

    Gray Catbird

    Graylag Goose

    Great Black-backed Gull*

    Great Blue Heron

    Great Cormorant*

    Great Egret

    Great Grey Shrike

    Great Spotted Woodpecker*

    Great Tit*

    Greater Flamingo*

    Greater White-Fronted Goose*

    Hairy Woodpecker

    Harlequin Duck

    Hermit Thrush

    Herring Gull

    Hooded Crow*

    Horned Lark

    House Finch

    House Sparrow

    House Wren

    Indigo Bunting


    Laughing Gull*

    Lesser Black-backed Gull*

    Lesser Scaup

    Lincoln's Sparrow

    Magnolia Warbler

    Mallard (Domestic)

    Mallard (Wild)

    Mourning Dove

    Mute Swan*

    Neotropic Cormorant*

    Northern Cardinal

    Northern Flicker

    Northern Rough-Winged Swallow

    Northern Shoveler

    Northern Shrike - See Great Grey Shrike

    Orange-Crowned Warbler

    Painted Bunting*

    Palm Warbler

    Red-Bellied Woodpecker

    Red-Breasted Nuthatch

    Red-Headed Woodpecker

    Red-Legged Thrush*

    Red-Tailed Hawk

    Red-Winged Blackbird

    Ring-Billed Gull

    Ring-Necked Duck

    Rock Pigeon


    Ross's Goose*

    Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

    Ruddy Turnstone*

    Sandwich Tern*

    Scarlet Tanager

    Smooth-Billed Ani*

    Solitary Sandpiper

    Song Sparrow

    Spotted Sandpiper

    Swamp Sparrow

    Syrian Woodpecker*

    Tricolored Heron*

    Tufted Duck*

    Tufted Titmouse

    Tundra Swan*

    Turkey Vulture

    White-Breasted Nuthatch

    White-Cheeked Pintail*

    White-Crowned Pigeon*

    White-Crowned Sparrow

    White-Eyed Vireo

    White-Throated Sparrow

    White-Winged Dove

    Wild Turkey

    Wilson's Warbler

    Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

    Yellow-Legged Gull

    Yellow-Rumped Warbler


    American Beaver

    Common Raccoon

    Eastern Chipmunk

    Eastern Cottontail

    Eastern Fox Squirrel

    Eastern Gray Squirrel

    Groundhog - See Woodchuck

    Ground Squirrel - See Eastern Chipmunk

    Red Fox

    Striped Skunk

    Virginia Opossum

    White-Tailed Deer


Monday, August 25, 2014
Ocellated Tiger Beetle (Cicindela ocellata)

Ocellated Tiger BeetleCicindela ocellata

Tiger Beetles (Cicindelinae), generally, are a Subfamily in the Family of Ground Beetles (Carabidae). “Tiger beetles are a large group of beetles known for their aggressive predatory habits and running speed…Tiger beetles often have large bulging eyes, long, slender legs and large curved mandibles. All are predatory, both as adults and as larvae.” Cite. The Ocellated Tiger Beetle “is a southwestern species that is known to occur from Arizona to extreme west Louisiana.” Cite. I assume the name “Ocellated” comes from the many white spots visible on the black body. Thanks to Bug Guide for the ID.

Linking up with NF Blo-Ma, Makro Montag, and Macro Monday.

Photograph taken on June 6, 2014 in the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, Texas.

Posted by: Mike in: Insects,Texas at 7:16 pm

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Snowy Egret, Adult in Breeding Plumage

Snowy EgretEgretta thula – also known as der Schmuckreiher (German), la garceta nívea (Spanish), l’Aigrette neigeuse (French), la garzetta nivea (Italian), and Snöhäger (Swedish).

Cornell:“Among the most elegant of the herons, the slender Snowy Egret sets off immaculate white plumage with black legs and brilliant yellow feet.” The Snowy Egret is a visitor to Iowa during migration. The breeding plumage is indicated by the time of year and the lacy plumes on the tail.

Linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and NF Winged.

Photo taken on June 6, 2014 on Mustang Island, Texas.

Posted by: Mike in: Birds,Texas at 12:00 pm

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Monday, August 11, 2014
Train Going Slowly Through the Flood Waters

Train heading though downtown Davenport during the flooding from the Mississippi River last month.

Linked up with Our World Tuesday and Wednesday Around the World.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Sandwich Tern - Adult - Breeding Plumage
Sandwich Tern - Adult - Breeding Plumage
Sandwich Tern - Adult - Breeding Plumage
Sandwich Tern - Adult - Breeding Plumage
Sandwich Tern - Adult - Breeding Plumage

Sandwich TernThalasseus sandvicensis – also known as die Brandseeschwalbe (German), el charrán patinegro (Spanish), la Sterne caugek (French), il beccapesci (Italian), and kentsk tärna (Swedish).

Sandwich terns are not native to Iowa. In fact, they are only found in the extreme southeastern United States (along the coast) and in the Caribbean. Sandwich terns are distinguishable from other terns by the shaggy crest and long, black, pale-tipped bill. The black crest indicates breeding plumage.

Linking up with Wild Bird Wednesday and NF Winged. Stewart started the WBW link-up with Artic Terns, so I decided to link-up with Sandwich Terns from my Texas trip with Butler’s Birds.

Photos taken on June 6, 2014 on Mustang Island, Texas.

Posted by: Mike in: Birds,Texas at 7:49 pm

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Saturday, August 2, 2014
brasov old city main square 03 black church

The Black Church (Biserica Neagră), Brașov, Romania, in front of the Hollywood-style “Brasov” sign on Tâmpa Mountain, 2013

Photohunt: Cloudy

Posted by: Mike in: Romania,Travel at 7:00 am

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Saturday, July 26, 2014
2001-04-11 Rotterdam Netherlands downtown

Photohunt: Modern Architecture

Rotterdam, Netherlands 2001

Posted by: Mike in: Netherlands,Travel at 8:00 am

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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Northern Bobwhite

Northern BobwhiteColinus virginianus – also known as die Virginiawachtel (German), el colín de Virginia (Spanish), codorniz cotuí norteña (Spanish), le Colin de Virginie (French), il colino della Virginia (Italian), and Vitstrupig vaktel (Swedish).

We wandered into the scrub after Laurence saw the bird from the car. Being a lifer for him, and being completely unexpected, we made sure we tracked him down. Not easy in the long grass. Taken near the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, Texas.

Part of the new NF Winged.

Posted by: Mike in: Birds,Texas at 5:38 pm

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Sunday, July 20, 2014
American Oystercatcher on Mustang Island, near Port Aransas,Texas
American Oystercatcher on Mustang Island, near Port Aransas,Texas

American OystercatcherHaematopus palliatus – also known as der Braunmantel-Austernfischer (German), El ostrero común americano (Spanish), l’Huîtrier d’Amérique (French), la beccaccia di mare americana (Italian), and Amerikansk strandskata (Swedish).

This large, brightly-colored shorebird is not native to Iowa. In fact, it barely makes it to the Gulf Coast of Texas and the southern half of Florida’s panhandle. It feeds on oysters, mussels, and clams with its long, orange bill. Also identified by the yellow eyes with orange eye rings. This photo was taken on Mustang Island, near Port Aransas, Texas.

Linked up with Camera Critters.

Posted by: Mike in: Birds,Texas at 1:31 pm

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Saturday, July 12, 2014
Painted Bunting 01

Painted BuntingPasserina ciris -also known as Der Papstfink (German), El azulillo pintado and colorín sietecolores (Spanish), Le Passerin nonpareil and Pape de Louisiane (French), and Påvefink (Swedish).

The Painted Bunting is not native to Iowa. This photo was taken near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. The Painted Bunting has a blue head, red underparts, and a green and yellow back. Green and yellow not visible in this photo. For the full report of my first day of Texas birding (in Aransas and surrounding areas), check out Butler’s Birds. My cousin / fellow birder put together a great post of our first day of Texas birding (from June 6, 2014).

Part of Camera Critters.

Posted by: Mike in: Birds,Texas at 6:00 am

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sky Watch Friday: Clouds over the Carpathian Mountains

Monday, June 23, 2014
blue winged teal 01
blue winged teal 02

Blue-Winged tealAnas discors – also known as Die Blauflügelente (German), El pato media luna (Spanish), La sarcelle soucrourou (French), La sarcelle à ailes bleues (French), La marzaiola americana (Italian), De blauwvleugeltaling (Dutch), Blåvingad årta (Swedish), and A kékszárnyú réce (Magyar).

Although common in Iowa, they do not seem to frequent the ponds around my house very often. This is only the second time in 6 years I have seen them here. The male has the white face crescent. The blue wing is not visible in these shots.

Photos taken April 5, 2014.

Posted by: Mike in: Birds,Iowa at 7:00 am

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Thursday, June 19, 2014
pisa tour 02

Pisa, Italy 2012

Sky Watch Friday

Posted by: Mike in: Italy,Structures,Travel at 5:00 pm

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Categorized by family, placed chronologically by common name

    Ants (Formicidae)

    Assassin Bugs (Reduviidae)

    Bee Flies (Bombyliidae)

    Blow Flies (Calliphoridae)

    Brown Lacewings (Hemerobiidae)

    Brushfooted Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

    Bumble Bees, etc. (Apidae)

    Carrion Beetles (Silphidae)

    Cellar Spiders (Pholcidae)

    Centipedes, House (Scutigeridae)

    Cicadas (Cicadidae)

    Common Sawflies (Tenthredinidae)

    Crane Flies (Tipulidae)

    Emeralds (Corduliidae)

    Ermine Moths (Yponomeutidae)

    Fireflies (Lampyridae)

    Flower Flies - See Syrphid Flies

    Funnel-Web Spiders (Agelenidae)

    Ground Beetles (Carabidae)

    Honey Bees - See Bumble Bees, etc.

    Hornets - See Yellowjackets, etc.

    Hover Flies - See Syrphid Flies

    Ichneumon Wasps (Ichneumonidae)

    Jumping Spiders (Salticidae)

    Katydids (Tettigoniidae)

    Ladybird Beetles (Coccinellidae)

    Leaf Beetles (Chrysomelidae)

    Leaffooted Bugs (Coreidae)

    Leafhoppers (Cicadellidae)

    Lightning Bugs - See Fireflies

    Longhorned Beetles (Cerambycidae)

    Mantid Flies (Mantispidae)

    Mantids (Mantidae)

    Minettia Flies (Minettia)

    Narrow-Winged Damselflies (Coenagrionidae)

    New York Weevils (Ithyceridae)

    Orb-Weavers (Araneidae)

    Paper Wasps - See Yellowjackets, etc.

    Picture-Winged Flies (Ulidiidae)

    Plant Bugs (Miridae)

    Robber Flies (Asilidae)

    Scarab Beetles (Scarabaeidae)

    Scentless Plant Bugs (Rhopalidae)

    Short-horned Grasshoppers (Acrididae)

    Signal Flies (Platystomatidae)

    Soldier Beetles (Cantharidae)

    Soldier Flies (Stratiomyidae)

    Sphinx Moths (Sphingidae)

    Spittlebugs (Cercopidae)

    Stink Bugs (Pentatomidae)

    Swallowtails (Papilionidae)

    Sweat Bees (Halictidae)

    Syrphid Flies (Syrphidae)

    Tiger Moths (Arctiidae)

    Tiphiid Wasps (Tiphiidae)

    Yellowjackets, etc. (Vespidae)


      Brown-Eyed Susan



      Crown Vetch


      Day Lily

      Field Marigold


      Mountain Blue

      Palm Tree*

      Purple Coneflower



      Spider Lily - See Spiderwort



      Sweet Alyssum


      Whorled Tickseed

      Wild Pansy



      American Toad

      Common Garter Snake

      Eastern Box Turtle*

      Green Frog

      Long-Tailed Salamander*

      Northern Fence Lizard*

      Painted Turtle


      Giant Sea Star*

      Nassau Grouper*

      Puffer Fish*

      Scrawled Filefish*

      Sergeant Major*

      Spanish Hogfish*

      Spotted Grouper*

      Stoplight Parrotfish*

      Yellowhead Wrasse*

      Yellowtail Snapper*





      Farm Implements

      Landscapes / Mountains

      Planes / Trains / Autos / Boats

      Rainbows / Clouds / Sky Formations

      Rivers and Waterways

      Seven Seas

      Signs, Billboards, etc.

      Structures / Buildings

      Sun and Moon


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