Wisconsin Wildlife Photos

by StevenHelmer

Amateur photos of Wisconsin's wildlife and other nature as taken on my walks.

Last Christmas, my wife surprised me with a pretty nice Kodak digital camera. The original purpose of this was so I had something to take photos of the kids, vacations, etc. However, this past spring and summer, I discovered I like taking nature photographs and have been doing that as a way of forcing myself to get some exercise. Here are some of the photos and videos I took of my home state's wildlife.

Canadian Geese

We see these year round but, now that the temps are getting colder, they are arriving in much larger quantities as they stop off on their way south. Ironically, I don't see as many of them in the more-secluded spots I take my walks in as I do in the center of town in parking lots, etc.

Canadian Geese
Canadian Geese
Photo by Steven Helmer
Geese
Geese
Photo by Steven Helmer
Goose Pair
Goose Pair
Photo by Steven Helmer

Mallard Ducks

These guys are very common around here. The park up the street from my house has dozens of them and I never fail to find some of them swimming around when out walking. Sometimes they are very friendly and walk right up to me. Other times, they'll be a bit skittish and fly away the second they see me moving. 

Mallard Ducks
Mallard Ducks
Photo by Steven Helmer
Ducks Swimming
Ducks Swimming
Photo by Steven Helmer
Duck Pair
Duck Pair
Photo by Steven Helmer

Wood Duck

Not quite as common around here as the mallards are but I do still see one on occasion. I personally love these ducks because their colors look almost painted on and are bright enough to make them really stand out in a crowd.

Duck
Duck
Photo by Steven Helmer

Heron

These are beautiful birds that I enjoy watching every time I see them. They are very skittish and tend to fly away at the first hint of movement. But, if you're fortunate enough to get close enough, they are pretty fantastic.

I personally love the combination of the long legs and neck. The legs allow them to wade in the water while their neck allows them to look over the tall marsh grass.

Heron
Heron
Photo by Steven Helmer
Heron
Heron
Photo by Steven Helmer

Egret

This year was the first time I've seen one of these in person, despite the fact they pass through every spring. Their white feathers really stand out against the landscape.

Egret
Egret
Photo by Steven Helmer

Tree Swallow

I usually see these guys when taking a walk near ponds. They are fun to watch as they swoop down in pursuit of some flying bug.

Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow
Photo by Steven Helmer

Sandhill Crane

This was the first year I've actually had an opportunity to see these up close. Normally, the only time I see them is when I'm driving and they are standing in a distant field. The ones I photographed were surprisingly cooperative. I was expecting them to fly away when they saw me but, as long as I kept my distance, they pretty much just ignored me.

Crane Pair
Crane Pair
Photo by Steven Helmer
Crane
Crane
Photo by Steven Helmer

Pelicans

I've seen these fly overhead before but have never actually seen one swimming around until this past summer, when I discovered our local lake has several of them. Like the herons, they are beautiful birds that, while skittish, are fun to get photos of.

Pelican
Pelican
Photo by Steven Helmer
Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide, Second Edition

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Crows

I don't have to go too far to see these. In fact, I usually have a few of them in my front yard at least once each day. They don't have a good reputation. But, they are beautiful birds that are surprisingly large and don't seem to be afraid of much.

Crow
Crow
Photo by Steven Helmer

Turkey Buzzard

This isn't a bird I see very often, at least not at the parks I take my walks in. I was fortunate enough to spot this one a few weeks ago. I'm not sure why it was even in the park. But, it was very cooperative with me when taking the photo.

Turkey Buzzard
Turkey Buzzard
Photo by Steven Helmer

Rail

I hear these guys singing in the grass but they rarely come out in the open. This was a juvenile who probably didn't know better.

Rail
Rail
Photo by Steven Helmer

Goldfinch

A common sight this past summer, usually hanging out around the marsh I walk through. I grabbed this photo of one perched in a tree.

Goldfinch
Goldfinch
Photo by Steven Helmer

Robins

These are always a happy sight after a long winter because it usually means spring is around the corner. Now that it's warming up again, I'm sure my front yard will be filling up with them.

Robin
Robin
Photo by Steven Helmer
Robin
Robin
Photo by Steven Helmer

Red-Winged Blackbirds

These are one of my favorites, mostly because I just love the brilliant color on their wings. I found they are a little hard to photograph though because they are very skittish and most fly away before I can get them in focus.

Red-Winged Blackbird
Red-Winged Blackbird
Photo by Steven Helmer
Red-Winged Blackbird in a Tree
Red-Winged Blackbird in a Tree
Photo by Steven Helmer
Red-Winged Blackbird
Red-Winged Blackbird
Photo by Steven Helmer

Cardinals

These are really pretty birds that I will see, from time to time, in my yard. They can be quite noisy however. I personally think they sound like a car alarm going off, especially first thing in the morning.

Cardinal
Cardinal
Photo by Steven Helmer
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Garter Snakes

Most of Wisconsin is free of poisonous snakes, here included. But, we do have some non-poisonous varieties, including garter snakes.

I actually don't see these every day. But, I have been coming across them a little more frequently on my walks, at least when it's sunny out. Sometimes, I'm able to get a photo. Other times, they slither off before I have a chance.

Garter Snake
Garter Snake
Photo by Steven Helmer
Snake
Snake
Photo by Steven Helmer
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: North America (National Audubon ...

Why are some frogs able to freeze solid and still survive? How can secretions from amphibians offer scientists clues for treating human ailments? What allows reptiles and amphib...

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Turtles

This year was actually my first year seeing turtles in the wild, at least for a very long time. I discovered they are fun creatures to watch. But, they are very difficult to photograph because, despite all the talk about them being slow, they are very fast when they feel threatened.

Turtle Pair
Turtle Pair
Photo by Steven Helmer
Algae Covered Turtle
Algae Covered Turtle
Photo by Steven Helmer
Turtle
Turtle
Photo by Steven Helmer
Newly Hatched Turtle
Newly Hatched Turtle
Photo by Steven Helmer

Frogs

It's getting a bit colder now so I don't see them as often. But, there are days when I can take a walk and have to avoid stepping on them, something that isn't always easy because many blend in with the grass.

Frog
Frog
Photo by Steven Helmer
Muddy Frog
Muddy Frog
Photo by Steven Helmer
Resting Frog
Resting Frog
Photo by Steven Helmer
Reptiles & Amphibians of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan Field Guide

An easy-to-use identification guide of all the turtles, snakes, lizards, salamanders, frogs and toads in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan,

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Updated: 04/26/2017, StevenHelmer
 
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