This morning the bird photography was slow on Antelope Island State Park until Ron spotted a Long-billed Curlew perched on a boulder below us. We hurried down the hill and saw not just the curlew perched on the boulder but also spotted a juvenile foraging in the vegetation below the adult. Thanks Ron!
I don’t normally see Long-billed Curlews perched high up, most of the time they are at ground level. I believe that they perch on items to keep an eye on their chicks.
The adult above took flight then landed back on the boulder twice while we were photographing it and the juvenile bird. In the photo above it was making the second landing.
Juvenile Long-billed Curlew – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 280mm, natural light
The juvenile Long-billed Curlew was foraging and preening in the vegetation on the ground below the adult perched on the boulder and at times it was hard to see it through the grasses and dried vegetation but it did give us the opportunity to photograph it a few times while it was less obscured. The tiny black specks in the frame above are flying insects.
The adults have very long, curved bills though when they hatch their bills are short and show far less of a curve.
I thought I would only have a few images to cull because it was so slow at the start of the morning due to lack of birds and poor light. Boy, was I wrong! What a nice surprise.