Snakes, Birds, Cats, and Dogs

Snakes, Birds, Cats, and Dogs. Dogs? Well not dogs actually, but Coyote. This album is just a few pictures I gathered during an evening spent at a fund-raiser for the conservation and preservation of rare cats. The event was held at a venue which also offered the opportunity to take photographs of some other critters - here are some of the more successful images.


Red-tailed Hawk - This species is found locally. He was fascinated by a small chunk of raw meat balanced on top of my camera lens .


Red-Tailed Hawk - This particular bird fell out of the nest as a chick and broke his wing, it healed but he can only fly downhill. He is used as an education bird, visiting schools etc.


Garter snake - a harmless fellow.


Rattle snake - definitely NOT a harmless fellow

A member if the Viperidae or "pit viper" family - members of which can be found all over the world except Antartica, Australia, and various islands (Ireland, Madagascar, New Zealand et al)

The characteristic triangle-shaped head hides the venom glands which are located towards the rear of the upper jaws. The venom is injected by a pair of hollow fangs which are normally retracted back against the roof of the mouth but can be deployed (either singly or as a pair) by rotation of the short maxillary bones on which they are mounted.


Rattle snake - tends not to be encountered in cold weather, but as spring turns in to summer he'll emerge to catch some rays as well as some food after a long period of inactivity. He'll try to avoid humans, but if you disturb him unexpectedly, he'll strike.

That could ruin your picnic and the rest of the afternoon.


Coyote - American cousin of the African Jackals I grew up with. This guy looks a bit scruffy and bedraggled - normal for his tribe.


For contrast I got this photo out of my archives. I photographed this guy in Alaska miles from any civilization, he was very sleek and well-coiffed.


Bobcat - so named because of his short tail which appears to have been "bobbed". Over the years I have seen a few in our backyard (mainly hanging out along banks of the creek) but many residents get such a shock on encountering one that they mis-identify him as a Mountain Lion.

Besides his short tail, this guy is much smaller (about twice the size of a big domestic cat - around 40 lbs or around 20 Kilos), and his paw marks measure around 2 inches (5 cm) across. The Mountain Lion is quite a bit bigger (50 to 100 Kilos) and his paw marks will be over 3 inches across. I have seen these big paw marks along the banks of our creek, but never the actual animal


Bobcat taking a drink.


Bobcat - here you can see his short tail


Fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is the largest of the Prionailurus cats - about twice the size of a domestic cat. They are strongly associated with wetland, and are typically found in swamps, marshy areas, reed beds, tidal creeks and so forth.


Fishing Cat - very much at home in the water and can swim long distances, even under water. An endangered species, still found in the Himalaya foothills of India and Nepal as well as few other spots in the far east


Fishing Cat - besides being at home in the water to catch fish, he is also adept at climbing and jumping to catch birds.