Black-billed Magpie juvenile

Close up of a juvenile Black-billed Magpie calling – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Last week I happened to see this immature Black-billed Magpie sitting on an ugly man made post. Normally I try to get full body shots but in this case I decided the perch was just to hideous and opted to take portraits of the bird instead. I didn’t have time to change my settings as I thought the juvenile would fly off any second so the image above does not have as much depth of field as I would have liked but I still like the great view of the eye and the open bill.

Adult Black-billed Magpies have black eyes, the juveniles have blue/gray eyes. The young magpies also have shorter tails and seem to lack the wonderful iridescence on the tail, back and wings that the adults have.

The juvenile above was calling for the adult that was nearby to come and feed it. Trust me; these young birds can make a racket! The noise this one made sure made me laugh.

Black-billed Magpie juvenile

Black-billed Magpie  juvenile – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Last year Ron and I watched a Black-billed Magpie nest for weeks, as the adults built the nest and as they incubated the eggs. We missed the young birds coming out into the world for the first time and we missed it again this year. We may need to camp out there for a week to see that happen next year. But at least I have gotten some opportunities to photograph these juvenile Black-billed Magpies this spring. I am very happy about that.

By the time this is posted I will be in Montana savoring the beauty of Red Rock Lakes NWR.