Scratch alert

What’s your favourite itch?

I used to think that wildlife started itching and scratching in a devious attempt to ruin my photos. After watching this behavior for some time, I have come to the insightful conclusion that they are itchy. Then I realized it’s actually amusing to watch.

I have gathered a few of my favourite itching photos for your viewing pleasure. Which one scratches your itch?

One word of caution. If you look at the photos too long, random parts of your body may get itchy.


It’s important to have a good location to scratch. This log worked pretty well.


The power of suggestion. What are the odds they would both get itchy at the same time?


Even cooler weather didn’t stop the annoying itch.


Sometimes the itch is in tricky places.

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Some creatures just look good no matter what they are doing.


Just to prove that birds aren’t the only ones who have hard to reach itches …

Latest Comments

  1. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    I like the elk. You can almost see a desperation in his attempts to scratch that one, even with those long antlers. And agreed, the eagle looks awesome doing anything.


  2. hannele says:

    As a biologist interested in parasites, I can just see some smaller creatures crawling around under the feathers/fur of these bigger animals… I bet the birds in these photos aren’t only scratching and itch, but also trying to find the parasites and bite them off. Cute, huh?

    Great photos, as always. 😀


    • lylekrahn says:

      Yes I imagine those itches are there for a reason but somehow that doesn’t add any cute factor just as you said. I imagine there could be quite a few little critters coming along for the ride.

      Glad you like the photos.


  3. Delft says:

    Small correction: looking at the photos for long makes inaccessible body parts itch, you know that bit on your back you can’t reach without a birds twisty neck…


  4. liamgreensphotography says:

    Great Photographs!
    Love Sometimes the itch is in tricky places.


  5. mflahertyphoto says:

    Okay this is why I follow your blog. You think of the most interesting and funny variations on wildlife. I think a lot of the time animals (especially birds) are going after specific parasites. It seems they would rather eat the thing than have it doing its thing somewhere on their body.


    • lylekrahn says:

      I’m glad you find my different perspectives on wildlife amusing. They do so many unusual things, sometimes it’s hard to keep up. The parasites can really be nuisance – I’m glad I don’t have to deal with that all the time!


  6. Mandy says:

    Love your insightful conclusion.


  7. Maureen McKeon says:

    These are great, Lyle! I also find it amusing to watch critters scratching Especially birds – a wonderful way to show off their feathers!


  8. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat says:

    Beautiful images. I guess when you’ve got an itch, you have to scratch it.


  9. kathyS says:

    We seem to do a lot of nibbling when we are “roosting”. Perhaps they are merely snacking…maybe not the elk.


  10. vanbraman says:

    Thanks for the itches.


  11. Sid Dunnebacke says:

    This post brings a smile on a number of levels, Lyle. The laughter at your interpretation, the awe at how beautiful the creatures are, and the gratitude that you have such a talent to capture those creatures on… film? Pixels?


  12. artsifrtsy says:

    Love these – I seem to capture a lot of scratchers too – I am certain it is a plot to foil photogs, no matter what you say. Great set!


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. The scratchers have a following! OK here I was trying to con myself into believing they weren’t trying to foil me and you lay the whole thing bare and have me doubting again:)


  13. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    Very funny.
    I have often photographed birds with their heads curled around scratching or preening their feathers with their heads at exactly the same angle.


  14. gingeralicia88 says:

    Very funny. The elk is hilarious. I love it!


  15. Deb W. Trotter says:

    I have to go with the elk as my favorite. He should find a way to extend and pinpoint his reach by using his antlers!


  16. Pam says:

    What a fun group! I relate to the elk’s problem of not quite being able to reach the itch.


  17. Mike Powell says:

    Wow, what a wonderful set of gorgeous images. Are these all male creatures? Human males have the reputation for scratching itches in public places and I wondered if that carried over to the animal world. By the way, I have the perfect song to serve as background music if you convert this to a slide show. it’s a rock-and-roll song from 1967 done by The Small Faces entitled “Itchycoo Park. If you are not familiar with it, check out this version on YouTube. ( The repeated chorus of “It’s all too beautiful” could equally well apply to your photos.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks for the comments. In my wildlife watching, it seems the itching is an equal opportunity activity for both genders. I’m actually surprised how much it happens – maybe they are just bored. As the for song, it’s been a long time since I heard that one.


  18. Colline says:

    Love this scratchy collection:)


  19. Honie Briggs says:

    The crispness and texture are exceptional. My compliments don’t begin to scratch the surface of how remarkable your talent is for capturing shots of the most amazing creatures.


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