Common Raven in an Open Field

Will wonders never cease? The weather forecasters; who are usually way off on their predictions, were right yesterday. They called for partly cloudy weather and that is what happened. Of course when there were no birds the sky overhead was clear and when there were birds the hulking clouds blocked out most of the light. Maybe they used a Ouija board for the forecast yesterday instead of weather radars and other scientific information.

So, when there were clouds (and not much light) I came across this Common Raven (Corvus corax) perched on a small rock in an open field that had been feeding on roadkill on the shoulder of the road.

Common Raven fluffed upCommon Raven fluffed up – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/250, ISO 400, 0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light, not baited

I grumbled about the low light earlier but it actually worked in my favor because I was able to bring out nice details in the Raven’s plumage and even got a hint of the blue sheen on some of the feathers and according to the histogram none of the blacks are blocked up.  In brighter light there may have been blocked up blacks in the shadows.

Common Raven Histogram

Common Raven Histogram

I could lighten the Raven up because the histogram shows that I am nowhere near blowing out the whites but I don’t want to increase exposure if it will add unwanted noise and that can happen easily with blacks and other dark colors.

Common Raven on a rock in an open fieldCommon Raven on a rock in an open field – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light, not baited

This Raven acted like it was going to expel a pellet for about a minute and I hoped to capture images of that but the bird must have decided it wasn’t time yet and flew off.

In Christian tradition Ravens are considered birds that herald death, evil, warfare or ill omens. I prefer to think of them as intelligent, playful and mischievous tricksters.


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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. Great shots, Mia! Love the character, especially in the first shot.

  2. Love Ravens, you captured him/her perfectly. Gorgeous photos!

  3. Mia, just perfect! what a sight! I love the ruff on its neck and the lighting is JUST perfect! You did such a good job. I must admit you are speaking Greek to me. I need to learn all that stuff you are talking about. I am still adjusting to these digital cameras! I would love to spend a day with you!

  4. I love the ravens..they very intelligent birds..Indian Lore has them as message well as being called upon by the Medicine Men. Beautiful photos..

  5. You had the perfect light to get those details on this gorgeous Raven. Beautiful. Carol

  6. Great photos of a very difficult bird to photograph, Mia.

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