The Clymene Moth - Black & Yellow Moth with a Cross
Sometimes I am blessed to find a beautiful creature in my own backyard.  Such was the case with the Clymene Moth.  He was such a lovely creature that I simply had to take his picture to share with the world.

The black cross he bears on his wings is almost spiritually symbolic. It immediately reminded me of a crusaders cross. Perhaps more so because the shape of the resting wings resembles a shield.

I felt I was being visited by an important messenger.  His message may have been nothing more than a reminder to stop and look at the unique beauty around us, but I felt blessed.

Facts About the Clymene Moth 

Scientific Name:  Haploa Clymene

  • Classification Tribe:  Arctiini (Tiger Moths)
  • Wingspan:  1 1/2 - 2 inches
  • Lives in Deciduous Wooded Areas / Forest or close-by 
  • Larvae eats plants that are poisonous to humans (Ageratina altissima and Eupatorium
  • Larvae (caterpillar) overwinter and eat willow, peach and oak tree
  • Adult Moth Life:  Early Spring to Late Summer  (My photo was taken in July)
  • Mostly Found in Eastern United States ranging from Florida all the way up to Quebec, Canada

Photos of the Clymene Moth by Sylvestermouse 

Both Photos Taken July, 2015 with a black cross on back

Attract Moths to Your Backyard

We all attract moths to our backyards by simply turning on a back porch light.  However, if you would like to do a bit of moth-watching, there is a way to attract them when you desire their company.  Oh, and be sure you have your camera ready.

Recipe for Moth Appeal

  • 1 or 2 overripe bananas 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 6 ounces of stale beer 

Stir the ingredients together until well-blended.  Let warm at room temperature.  It is actually best, but not necessary, if left for several days under a breathable cloth.  (like a sour dough bread recipe)

When ready, simply brush the mixture on the trunk of a tree and wait for your "friends" to arrive.

Learn More about Moths

Blue Masked Leafbird
Because of his lovely green color and very small size, it is actually pretty easy to see why this gorgeous little bird is named a leafbird.  In the canopy of trees, the leafbird could go virtually unnoticed unless he moves or sings to attract attention.  

It is also clear to see why he is call a "blue-masked" leafbird.  He does look like he is wearing a big blue mask on his face.  The blue and yellowish colors of his feathers also help him to blend in with his colorful tropical surroundings on the island of Sumatra in western Indonesia.  

The Blue Masked Leafbird is Near Threatened 

Facts About the Blue Masked Leafbird

(Chloropsis venusta)
The Blue Masked Leafbird - Photo by Sylvestermouse

  • Near Threatened Species due to loss of habitat
  • Indigenous to Indonesian island of Sumatra
  • Classification:  Songbird
  • Nests at end of branches in the top of trees
  • Smallest of the Leafbird species  
  • Size:  5.5" in length from tip of beak to tip of tail 
  • Weight - half ounce  
  • Food:  Insects, Berries, Fruit, and Tubular Flower Nectar

Like hummingbirds, the little Blue Masked Leafbird collects pollen while eating.  Therefore, as he flies from one flower to the next,  he cross-pollinates flowers while he is drinking the nectar from each flower.   A great example of how animals and flowers help each other survive in nature.

Video of the Blue Masked Leafbird

I do love songbirds, but I don't normally include videos on the Amazing Wild Animals site.  However, I wanted you to be about to hear this little songbird for yourself.

Close your eyes and listen!  He will make you feel like you are resting under a canopy of trees, or walking through the Rainforest.


There aren't many Blue Masked Leafbird products available, so I added my own photo to a mug on Zazzle. If you would like to have this photo on a different Zazzle item, please leave me a note in the guestbook below. I'll be happy to add it for you.

Polar Bears Since Polar Bears live in the Arctic, most of us will only ever see them in zoos.  In their natural habitat, their white fur helps to camouflage them against the ice of their region.  However, that white fur is quite a contrast to the greens and browns of other terrains.

The Polar Bear has a longer neck than other bears which allows them a longer reach when hunting their aquatic prey.   They have huge paws with bumpy pads that naturally help them get a grip in the ice of their Arctic region.  They have small ears & short tails which helps reduce heat loss.

Even though I enjoy seeing Polar Bears in zoos, I often feel quite sorry for them.  They are most often panting due to the heat.  Even in colder weather, it is rarely cold enough for a Polar Bear to be truly comfortable.   In the zoo, the bears cool down by swimming in the pools in their enclosures.  Several of the zoos that I have visited have viewing areas so you can watch the bears swim underwater.   It is entertaining for us to watch a bear swim, but for them, it is quite refreshing and a great reprieve from the heat.

Sea Bears 

Polar Bears are also referred to as Sea Bears.  They are actually the only bear classified by several countries as a marine mammal.  Their paws are also wide and flat which helps them to propel through water in spite of their massive size.  Think of a paddle on a boat and how it can move a boat even without current.

Polar Bears are excellent swimmers and have no trouble whatsoever swimming underwater.

Facts About Polar Bears
  • Black Skin Covered with 2 Layers of White Fur
  • Height:  Up to 10 feet tall
  • Weight:   Up to 1100 lbs.
  • Life Span:  Up to 30 years
  • Nickname:  Sea Bear
  • Lives In:  Arctic Regions:  Alaska (US), Canada, Greenland, Russia & Norway
  • Food:  Seals, Reindeer, Fish, Seabirds, bird eggs and berries
  • Cubs:  1 - 4 Cubs born every 2 - 4 years
  • Currently:  Vulnerable Status, but numbers are decreasing

Polar Bears You Can Take Home!

Eastern Chipmunks

Chipmunks are pretty clever little creatures that many of us find in our own backyards.  They are really cute, but often hide when humans are around.   Frequently, we can only watch them out our windows.  I often see them eating the bird seed that drops on the ground, but I am rarely able to actually catch them on film.

I just happened to be outside the day I captured the photo on the left.   As you can probably tell by looking at the photo, as soon as this little guy realized I was actually around, he tried hard to hide.  I wasn't about to hurt him, but he had no way of knowing that, so he hid until the coast was clear.

Homeowners & Chipmunks 

 Chipmunk 2 Inch Round MagnetCheck PriceMany homeowners find chipmunks to be a nuisance since they will indeed dig up flowers and bulbs as they seek insects, worms or food.  They dig burrowing holes in the yard, or even nest in a basement.  Chipmunks are ground dwellers so are not likely to move into your attic, but if you have a basement or a crawl space under your house, you do need to take precautions.  Otherwise, like any creature, they are seeking shelter and a safe place to live.

It isn't necessary to spend a lot of money trying to keep chipmunks out of your house.  A simple owl or hawk decoy will often do the trick.  They are easily scared away by just the sight of such predators, real or not real, especially if you purchase a decoy that lights up or makes a loud noise when sensor activated.  (see example below)

Keep in mind that poisoning a chipmunk is a dangerous decision.  Any animal will eat poison, including your own pets, therefore you seriously run the risk of having many unintended victims.

Other than the nuisance factor, chipmunks do very little harm, if any.  Their damage is mostly limited to the garden areas when they are trying to extract food.  They don't carry diseases often associated with wildlife.  The biggest concern would be Lyme disease from ticks since all outdoor animals, including pets, are susceptible to ticks.  Those of us who live in areas that are highly infected with ticks need to be more informed of how to deal with ticks.  Killing the wildlife in our area is not the solution.

Facts About Eastern Chipmunks 
(Tamias striatus)

Habitat:  Woodland or Bushy Areas
Life Span:  3 Years
Size:  5" - 8" or 12" including the tail
Weight:  2.5 - 5 oz
Food:  Nuts, Seeds, Fruit, Mushrooms, Insects, Worms and sadly Flower Bulbs
Predators Include:  Cats, Hawks, Owls, Snakes, Weasels, Raccoons, and Foxes

  • Rodent
  • Product 2 Litters of 4 -6 of Babies each Year:  One in Spring and One in Late Summer
  • Cheek Pouches for Food 
  • Sounds of the Chipmunk Sound like He is Telling You His Name:  Chip Chip
  • Often Referred to as a Ground Squirrel
  • Easily Recognized by Distinctive Stripes
  • Burrows Underground with Multiple Entrances

One really fascinating thing Chipmunks do when digging their homes, they either spread the dirt, or carry it away in their cheek pouches so the entrances are not easy to see.  He also camouflages his home with leaves, sticks or other natural debris.

Learn More About Eastern Chipmunks, Bring One Home or Scare Them Away!

 Eastern Chipmunks: Secrets of Their Solitary Lives (Smithsonian nature book)Check Price Hansa Upright Chipmunk Plush Animal Toy, 6Check Price Visual Scare Eye Glowing Owl - 15.5 Inch Owl Scarecrow with Solar Glowing EyesCheck Price


Giraffes are among the most beloved and amazing wild animals you can see at just about any zoo.  Their sweet faces and seemingly peaceful demeanor endear them to our hearts.  If they weren't so huge, we would all want to take them home and keep them as pets.

Giraffes are the tallest living land mammal.  Some actually tower over the rest of the animal kingdom by measuring more than 19 feet in height.   Because of their great height, they can feed on new leaf growth in the top branches of trees which others simply cannot reach.

Their tremendous height, coupled with their excellent eyesight, gives them an even greater advantage.  They can literally see danger coming long before other animals, which allows them to clear the area before it arrives.

Somali Giraffes aka Reticulated Giraffes

The Giraffes Ossicone

Take a closer look at the introduction photo above.  It clearly shows what some refer to as horns on the top of the giraffes head.  They are not horns though, they are called ossicones.  Giraffes and Okapis are the only living animals that have ossicones, which probably explains why most would think they are horns.  We simply don't think ossicone when we see the protrusions on heads.   Ossicones are made up of cartilage, which is flexible connective tissue as opposed to bone which makes up horns or antlers.  Another major difference is that ossicones are covered with skin and fur, unlike a horn that is bare bone.

More Interesting Facts About Giraffes

Mother & Baby Giraffe Photo
by Sylvestermouse
  • Height Up to 19.5 feet
  • Length of Body:  Up to 15 feet plus a 39" tail
  • Weight:  Up to 2600 lbs.
  • Excellent Eye Sight
  • One of Two of the Only Animals that have Ossicones
  • Running Speed Approx. 34 mph
  • Sleeps Lying Down with Head on Hindquarters
  • Food:  Leaves, Grass & Grain
  • Life Span:  26 years in the Wild, 36 years in Captivity
  • Habitat:  Open Woodland and Savannah
  • Lives in Sub-Saharan Africa 
  • Protected Species in Most Areas

Endanger Status -  Currently listed as "Least Concern" but population decreasing, with *3 Species Classified as Endangered

(*Endangered:  West African Giraffe, Rothschild Giraffe, & Nubian Giraffe)


A Giraffe Photo You Must See!

I love photographing the graceful giraffes!  It seems like almost anything they do makes me smile.  On this particular day, I noticed a spot on the giraffe's leg and got a little concerned.  The camera lens worked perfectly to zoom in and check it out.  I thought you might enjoy seeing what the spot on the giraffe's leg was too.


Baby Giraffes are Always Fun

Like all babies, baby giraffes are exciting to see and fun to watch.

Baby Giraffe Photo by Sylvestermouse

Bring Home Your Own Giraffe Today!

 Melissa & Doug Giraffe PlushCheck Price National Geographic Readers: GiraffesCheck Price Giraffe Left Direction Wall Decal Sticker Vinyl Removable Wide 95cm High 120cmCheck Price Handmand Crocheted Giraffe From Coastal Crochet CraftsCheck Price


Bali Mynah - Critically Endangered Bird

Bali Starling Photo by Sylvestermouse
You may never have seen or heard of a Bali Mynah aka the Bali starling.  This gorgeous bird is critically endangered, largely due to illegal poaching for captive bird trade.  Unfortunately, their rarity has only increased the demand and value to poachers.

Counts in recent years indicate there may be fewer than 20 Bali Mynah birds still in the wild.

Even though there are some Bali starlings in zoos, there are still less than 1100 total known in existence today.  Attempts to release the birds back into the wild have only resulted in them disappearing.  Most likely into the hands of illegal poachers.

Description of the Bali Mynah

The Bali Mynah is a snow white bird.  His only coloring will be found in the blue around his eyes and the black on the tips of his tail and wing feathers, which look like they have been dipped in black ink.

Bali Starling Photo by Sylvestermouse
Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

I felt quite privileged to see the lovely Bali Mynah in person myself.  We should never move so fast that we don't take the time to really stop, look and appreciate the lovely creatures that share the earth with us right now.  Some won't be here for our great grandchildren to see.  All that will be left are the photos and memories.

Facts About the Bali Mynah  

(Leucopsar rothschildi)

By Woldere CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0
via Wikimedia Commons

  • Critically Endangered
  • Only found in the northwestern tip of the Indonesian island of Bali
  • Mostly Snowy White
  • Monogamous
  • Member of the Passeriformes or Perching bird order
  • Normal Body size 8.5" females & 9" - 10" males
  • Weight:  3 - 3.5 ounces
  • Diet:  Insects, Worms, Seeds and Fruit
  • May live up to 25 years in Captivity
  • Also known as Rothschild's mynah

The photo above on the right was used with permission.  I wanted you to be able to see the black tipped wing tips and tail feathers.   That is most likely a female in photo since the male no longer has a crown or crest.  She preens her crest to attract her life-long mate during mating season.

Learn More about the Bali Mynah or Purchase Bali Mynah Gifts


Pink Dolphins

Pink Dolphins Really Do Exist!
Pink Dolphins may be rare, but they really do exist!  Not only do they really exist, but there are several different types of pink dolphins.

Pink Bottlenose Dolphins are actually albino dolphins, but they are commonly referred to as pink dolphins simply because they are often pink.  The pink Bottlenose Dolphin is extremely rare.

Amazon River Dolphins and Chinese White Dolphins are also commonly referred to as pink dolphins.  I have included facts on all three species here so you can easily compare them, plus see photos of each one.

Let's Start with the Rare Pink Bottlenose Dolphin Shown Here

This photo was taken in 2007 by Capt. Erik Rue, a charter boat captain from Lake Charles Louisiana, when he spotted this little beauty in Calcasieu Lake in Southwestern Louisiana.  Capt. Erik Rue's Calcasieu Charter Service notes on their website that there was a sighting of the pink dolphin as recently as 9/2016.

According to Capt Rue, the pink Bottlenose Dolphin appeared to be a "youngster traveling with mama."

This is an amazing shot!  You can even see the dolphins pink eye!  It really makes me want to run right on down to Lake Charles, Louisiana and book my charter with Capt. Rue in the hopes of seeing this sweetie!

View Additional Photos of this Pink Bottlenose Dolphin or Book Your Charter

Latest Update on Pinky, the rare pink dolphin in the Louisiana waters:

When Pinky was sighted in September of 2015, there was speculation that she may be pregnant. When and if this is confirmed, I will let you know.
Thank you Wednesday Elf for reporting that Sept sighting to me so I could add this update.

According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration), there have only been 14 recorded sightings of albino bottlenose dolphins throughout the world, since the first reported sighting in 1962.

Pink Bottlenose Dolphins are Rare, 

but Bottlenose Dolphins are Not Rare

This is the Bottlenose Dolphin You will Most Often See
 Bottlenose Dolphin Swimming by Reinhard Dirscherl - Available at
 Bottlenose Dolphin Swimming by Reinhard Dirscherl - Available at


Facts about All Bottlenose Dolphins

(The Facts are the Same for Either Pink or Grey Dolphins)

One of the Most Intelligent Mammals on Earth!

  • Normal Adult Color:  Varying Colors of Grey depending on the Species
  • Weight:  Up to 1400 lbs
  • Length:  Up to 12'
  • Beak:  Short and Stubby thus "Bottlenose"
  • Dorsal Fin:  High and Curved
  • Average Lifespan:  Up to 40 years
  • Hearing:  Excellent
  • Eyesight:  Good to Excellent
  • Food:  Crustaceans, small Fish and Squid
  • Gestation Period:  12 months
  • Can remain Underwater up to 20 minutes
  • Occasionally closes One Eye during Sleep cycle
  • Lives:  Worldwide
  • They can frequently be seen in bays, harbors, lagoons, estuaries, and river mouths.  Because of this, scientist believe there are two ecotypes:  a coastal form and an offshore form.

Get Your Own Pink Dolphin

Beautifully Crocheted by our Own Wednesday Elf!

Pink Bottlenose Dolphin Available from CoastalCrochetCrafts on Etsy
On Sept. 12, 2012, I received a very special email from a fabulous crochet expert, Wednesday Elf!

This is a direct quote from that email. "I wanted to thank you for your Pink Dolphin article which gave me the terrific idea to create one in crochet."

Wednesday Elf's pink dolphin is absolutely adorable and she has been kind enough to offer it for sale on Etsy.

Now, we can all have our very own Pink Dolphin to hug!

Thank you Pat aka Wednesday_Elf!
Your pink dolphin is totally precious!

Wild Pink Amazon River Dolphin 

Often Referred to as a Pink Dolphin - Portuguese name in Brazil is "boutu vermelho" which literally means red dolphin
Wild Pink Amazon River Dolphin Canvas Print (Available on

Facts About the Amazon River Dolphin is Often a Pink Dolphin

Largest River Dolphin

  • Fresh Water River Dolphin
  • Neck can bend 90 degrees to it's Body sideways or downward
  • Adult Color: Shocking Pink, as it continues to age, skin turns white with a bluish-gray cast
  • Juvenile Color: Upper Portion of Body ~ Dark Gray
  • Weight: Up to 350 lbs
  • Length: Up to 9'
  • Teeth: Up to 100 teeth
  • Dorsal Fin: They have a Hump on their Back Instead of a dorsal fin
  • Hearing: Excellent
  • Eyesight: Good
  • Sense of Touch: Stiff Hairs on the Beak believed to provide Touch Sense
  • Food: Crabs, Crustaceans, small Turtles, Catfish, Piranhas, and other fish
  • Gestation Period: 9 - 12 months
  • Lives in: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
  • Does Not Adapt well to Captivity
  • Threat Status: Listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of the Nature

Chinese White Dolphin

A beloved treasure of the China affectionately called "mermaid, "aquatic panda" or even "Macau fish" after the local marine goddess "Macau."

The Chinese White Dolphin was chosen as the mascot by the Hong Kong government during re-unification.

Pink Dolphin
By user:takoradee (Own work)  CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Facts About the Chinese White Dolphin

  • Adult Color: White or Pink
  • Color at Birth: Black
  • Juvenile Color: Spotted Grey
  • Average Lifespan: 40 years
  • Weight: Up to 500 lbs.
  • Length: Up to 11 1/2'
  • Teeth: 125 - 135 teeth line jaw
  • Swallows their Food without Chewing
  • Highly Intelligent
  • Food: Fish
  • Adult Dolphin can Stay Underwater: Up to 8 minutes
  • Personality: Very Sociable
  • Gestation Period: 10 months for mother dolphin to give birth and only 1 at a time
  • Lives in: Subtropical estuaries where salt and fresh water mix, including the pacific coast of southeast of Asia. the northern coast of Australia, the India ocean coast of Africa,
  • Threat Status: Protected in Hong Kong and China
  • Listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I. Appendix I includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

Find Out More About Pink Dolphins Or Grab One Just for Play!