Photo of the Week - September 9, 2010

Images for Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Southeastern Oregon 

(Sceloporus graciosus graciosus)
The northern sagebrush lizard’s diet consists of ants, beetles, termites, leaf hoppers, butterflies, moths, flies and other insects, as well as spiders. It becomes active in May, with mating and egg-laying occurring in early summer. Females of this species in Colorado and Utah lay two clutches of about four or five eggs each year. These lizards reach their adult size in their second summer, with most females reproducing at the age of two years.

This lizard occurs in rock outcrops in sagebrush and juniper communities, as well as semi-arid and mountain shrub lands, usually below 6,000 feet in elevation. It can be found in western Colorado, western Wyoming, northern New Mexico, and across the Great Basin to the Pacific coast in northern California.

(Mantis religiosa)

Mantis religiosa, referred to as the European Mantis outside of Europe and known simply as the Praying Mantis in Europe and elsewhere, is one of the most well-known and widespread species of the order, Mantodea. Originating in southern Europe, the European Mantis was introduced to North America in 1899 on a shipment of nursery plants. Now they are found all over the north-eastern United States and Canada to the Pacific Northwest. The European Mantis is usually 5–7.5 cm (2–3 inches) in length, and has shades of bright green to tan.
(Nycticorax nycticorax)
With a range that spans five continents, including much of North America, the Black-crowned Night-Heron is the most widespread heron in the world. It is most active at dusk and at night, feeding in the same areas that other heron species frequent during the day.

Adult Black-crowned Night-Herons apparently do not distinguish between their own young and those from other nests, and will brood chicks not their own.

check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology