I walk my two dogs most every day. We usually get an early start—just a little before or little after dawn—and kill about an hour while we wander about. At least once a week I like to bring a camera along with me just in case I happen across any interesting urban wildlife along the way.

Most of the time it’s the route and weather conditions that have the most influence on that decision. If the skies are clear and the sun is shining, together with a walk that takes us by the neighborhood creek or through a wooded park, then in all likelihood the camera will be coming along with us.

On outings like these I typically carry my trusty Canon SX70 HS PowerShot, a nice little bridge camera that can provide 1365mm lens equivalence under the right conditions. That’s pretty incredible super-telephoto in such a small package. Just the ticket for impromptu wildlife photography!

The SX70 is a capable little camera, but sometimes things work out, and other times they do not… a lot depends on whether the pups give me a break when I stop for pictures. If they insist on continuing on, or begin engaging in horseplay, or start sniffing something just out of leash range, or if they NOTICE the critter I’m trying to photograph, things can get ugly. Of course the subject also has to cooperate, and with this camera good light and relative proximity are absolutely required. But every once in a while I’m able to record something of note. Below are a few samples from my efforts of this past spring. Twenty-six different species of urban wildlife!

European Starling feeding a juvenile in its cavity nest
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
This Painted Bunting DID NOT cooperate.
He always managed to stay behind a branch or leaves
Yellow-crowned Night Heron
American Crow
Eastern Cottontail
Three-toed Box Turtle
American Bullfrog
A Mallard mom with two nearly grown ducklings
Black Velvet Leatherleaf Slug
Canada Geese with goslings
Feeding on the grass
Five goslings in all
A rambunctious group of youngsters
Common Musk Turtle, also known as the “Stinkpot”
Common Snapping Turtle
Snowy Egret
Blue Jay
Another Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Female Mallard
Another Mallard with ducklings
Snowy Egret. This clever bird is found
hunting at this same spot almost every day
Fox Squirrel
Honey Bee
Eastern Bluebird
Cliff Swallow under a bridge
A deceased juvenile Striped Skunk
Black Vulture
A bright red Northern Cardinal against a brilliant blue sky
Blanchard’s Cricket Frog tadpoles
Remains of a juvenile Eastern Cottontail
Spiny Softshell Turtle
Franklin’s Gulls marshalling for their spring migration
American Robin

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