Vernon Hills Animal Hospital

1260 South Butterfield
Mundelein, IL 60060


Dr. B's Nature & Wildlife Photos

Copyright Notice:  All of the images on this website are

copyrighted and may not be copied or used without written permission. 

Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and Photo Safari in Tanzania

Dr. Steve and his wife traveled to Africa to view Mountain Gorillas up close and personal and to do a traditional African Safari in Serengeti National Park

This 400-pound silverback came right at me and sat down just 5 feet from me.  I was photographing a baby and I think he wanted to make sure I behaved myself.
This 400-pound silverback was sitting 5 feet away from me.  I took this image with a  wide-angle lens.

Wildlife in Lake County, Illinois

These are images of wildlife taken by Dr. Steve in Lake County, Illinois, over the years.  Many were taken in his back yard.

Some Screech Owls are red phase

Some Screech Owls are gray phase

Flying Squirrel squatting in a wren house

Possums look mean but are slow and gentle.  They often live under decks.

Bald Eagles nest along the Fox River

Juvenile Cooper's Hawks using a swimming pool as a bird bath

This Red-tailed hawk tried to catch a squirrel at the bird feeder.  The squirrel ran up the baffle the hawk only got hold of the squirrel's tail and the supporting pole.

The hawk couldn't pull the squirrel out and ended up letting go and flying away.

Indigo Bunting

Northern Oriole

Sandhill Crane

Painted Turtles

Praying Mantis

Luna Moths mating

The Wildlife of the Pantanal, Brazil

The Pantanal is a huge ecosystem of wetlands in south central Brazil, south of the Amazon rain forest, close to the border with Paraguay, and 800 miles south of the equator. The land is flat with grasslands, trees, and wetlands, reminiscent of central Florida, and there is extensive flooding during the rainy season that makes travel nearly impossible.  Dr. Steve joined a group of 24 veterinarians to visit the Pantanal and study its wildlife in September, 2014, during the dry season. 

Dr. Steve photographed this wild Jaguar on the shore of the Cuiaba River from a boat only 40 feet away.


Wild Hyacinth Macaws groom each other's
tail feathers at dawn.

Toco Toucans

Red-and-Green Macaws, also known as 
Green-winged Macaws

Hyacinth Macaws

Chestnut-eared Aracari, a small kind of toucan Giant River Otter lost his troop, and was swimming around and calling frantically for them.
This jaguar was stalking some Capybaras on the far shore.  They all escaped. This Jaguar was sleeping off a big meal from the night before.
Giant Anteater Tapir
A Wattled Jacana uses a Capybara as a perch. Lineated Woodpecker peers from its nest cavity.
Howler Monkey males are black and females are brown A wild Red-footed Tortoise was found walking along a fence line.
This Yacare Caiman caught a fish. This Cocoi heron, like our Great Blue, also caught a fish.

Dr. B visits the Galapagos Islands   

In June, 2010, Dr. B and his wife joined a group of veterinarians to visit the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador rain forest (see below for that report).  They spent seven nights on a ship, visited ten of the Galapagos Islands, and crossed the equator eight times.  Even though they were on the equator, the weather was pleasant and mild. The wildlife was abundant and tame, allowing close approach.  They saw everything you see on National Geographic shows about the Galapagos: giant tortoises, marine iguanas, land iguanas, waved albatrosses, blue-footed boobies, flamingoes, Galapagos penguins, flightless cormorants, many of Darwin's finches, sea lions, Galapagos fur seals, Bryde's whales, lava lizards and even three kinds of Galapagos racer snakes.  



 Iconic Pinnacle Rock

 Going ashore in the zodiac

 A beautiful sunset on the Pacific




 An unafraid Sea Lion

 Sea Lion playing with a stick

 Yellow Warbler




 Galapagos Penguin

 Flightless Cormorant

 American Oystercatcher








 Galapagos Hawk, the main predator

 Blue-footed Booby




 Elliot's Storm Petrel

 Waved Albatross and chick

 Waved Albatross




 One of Darwin's Finches

 Magnificent Frigatebird

 Blue-footed Booby courtship dance




 Nazca Booby (the "other" booby)

Swallow-tailed Gull, found nowhere else

 White-cheeked Pintail




 Land Iguana

 Marine Iguana

Marine Iguana and Sally Lightfoot Crabs




 Baby Marine Iguana

 Marine Iguana City

Lava Lizard basking on Marine Iguana




 Charles Darwin Research Station

"Lonesome George," the last surviving Pinta Island Tortoise

A saddleback tortoise from Espanola Island at the research station




 Wild Santa Cruz tortoise

 Wild Santa Cruz tortoise

 Colorful Marine Iguana







 Sea Lion

 Bryde's Whale

Sea lion on the beach, our ship in the background




 Snorkeling with a Green Seaturtle

 Snorkeling with a penguin

 Snorkeling with a Sea Lion

Dr. B visits the Amazon Rain Forest   

In June, 2010, Dr. B and his wife joined a group of veterinarians traveling with the North American Veterinary Conference to Ecuador.  As a pre-conference side trip, they spent three nights in the rain forest of eastern Ecuador.  It was amazingly humid; everything was constantly damp, including clothes and all papers.  It was surprisingly bug free, and mosquitoes only found us when we were hiking trails after dark and stopped to take photographs.  Mosquitoes are a far bigger problem in Illinois.  The wildlife and scenery were spectacular, especially the birds, monkeys, and amphibians.


 Sacha Lodge 

 Hoatzin, a primitive, turkey-like bird

 Sunset over the lake




 The canopy walk for viewing birds

 Chestnut-mandibled Toucan

 Red-bellied Macaws






 Owl-eye Butterfly

 Owl-eye Butterfly

 Owl-eye Butterfly, close up






 Leaf-cutter Ants

 The Kapok Tree tower

 Pygmy Marmoset




 Squirrel Monkey eating a moth

 Red Howler Monkey

 Black-mantled Tamarin




 Hyla punctata

 Ameerega bilinguis

 Hipsiboas geographicus




 Bolitoglossa equatoriana

 Rhinella margaritifer

 Tailless Whip Scorpion




 Ringed Blue Caecilian (a type of amphibian)

 Ringed Blue Caecilian; note the tiny eye and the mouth

 Giant true bug

Dr. B. visits and studies the polar bears 

In October 2009 Dr. B joined 22 other veterinarians on an expedition to Churchill, Manitoba, on the west coast of Hudson Bay to observe and study the resident Polar Bears.  He saw over 50 Polar Bears, as well as a lot of other wildlife.  There were white Arctic Hares, Arctic Foxes, and Willow Ptarmigan, all of which blended in with the snow.  Around the town Red Foxes took the place of Raccoons as the local scavengers.  On a helicopter ride he saw Moose and got a glimpse of a pack of Wolves.  To view the bears, the group rode in Tundra Buggies, like a school bus on top of a fire engine chassis, making the windows 10 feet high and hard for a bear to reach (see the photos). Even though it was only October, it was COLD!

















































Dr. Barten visits Antarctica   

In February 2008 Dr. Barten joined 30 other veterinarians to tour Antarctica and view and study its wildlife.  The trip was aboard a 400-foot ship that crossed the Drake Passage between the southern tip of Argentina and the Antarctic Peninsula.  It was an amazing experience, with incredible scenery, weather, and wildlife.  He saw thousands of penguins, several species of seals, big pods of Humpback Whales, and countless Albatross and other seabirds.