Common Raven in flight

I’ve struggled to get close to Common Ravens here in Utah, mostly they are in bad light or are too skittish to get close enough to nearly fill the frame but I was able to get some flight shots this morning.

Common Raven in flightCommon Raven in flight – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 400, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Ravens have always appealed to me even though some people might consider them “plain black birds”.  One of the reason I like them so much is that they are very smart and among the most intelligent birds in the world. I also love the iridescence that sometimes shows in their plumage plus Common Ravens are great  fun to observe and to photograph.

This bird was one of a pair that flew close enough to me to get some nice, nearly frame filling images of them with the Wasatch Mountain Range in the background.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. This shot was worth the wait. Wonderful detail in the blacks.

  2. “Yank my chain”! That’s a very good synopsis of these clever, gorgeous birds, and yes, a fabulous cruise shot!

  3. Nice flight shot, Mia. It is not easy to get this posture. I saw Ravens in Moab, and although they seemed to have no fear, they did not like to be stared at!

    • Julie, Ravens are easier to approach in areas where there are a lot of people like Moab, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, etc. Here they are skittish and like to yank my chain. When I do get close and get set up to take a shot they fly off right away. But I will get more chances with them. Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. Perfect lighting and awesome detail on your Common Raven Mia! I love Corvids of all persuasions because of their incredible intelligence they are very much fun to watch. This in flight shot is just amazing!

  5. Awesome, I love Ravens, they are fascinating creatures. We have a pair nesting close by they are gathering their materials now. I have been trying for days to get a good photo

  6. Nice shot! They’re sleek birds and crafty too. They have their own unique and beautiful appeal same as any bird. Your flying Raven looks contemplative. I wonder what he’s thinking about…

  7. Gorgeous Mia! You highlight the beauty of all birds!

  8. I agree with Robert Mortensen. A great exposure of it in flight. You caught all the nueances of the irridecence of the feathers. A nice sharp eye and highlight. Well done, Mia.

  9. Terrific image Mia- you caught him flying off with a treat, and provided one for us as well!

  10. Terrific. It’s like suspended animation.

  11. Wow! You accomplished a photographic feat there. Great feather detail on a black bird is hard enough alone, but you did it in flight. Amazing!

  12. You make a ‘plain black bird’ beautiful.

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