Western Kingbird – A Consolation Prize

There are times when I go out to photograph a specific species but come home with images of birds I didn’t expect to see.

Western KingbirdWestern Kingbird – Nikon D200, f6.3, 1/3000, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Yesterday Burrowing Owls with chicks were my target species but I wasn’t able to get as close as I would have liked though I did get images of this lovely Western Kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) that Ron spotted along the dirt road we were on. A little bit of Serendipity!

I’ll try for the owls again later but I am quite happy with this “consolation prize”.


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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. Exquisite photo Mia! I love these birds. I’m happy to see that my neighborhood Western Kingbirds have returned for the summer. :-)

  2. It appears that the outer tail feathers are white, which makes it a Western. There is also the Cassin’s, which looks very similar. Not only have my birdwatching skills improved to the point where I could identify the Cassin’s (overall darker gray above, with the tail having a pale terminal edging), I have had an opportunity to see both W/C side by side on a fence. The differences between the two are much more marked and it is actually easier to distinguish them.

    • Mathew, we also have the Cassin’s here in Utah but they are primarily in the south to south-eastern part of the state. I have yet to photograph a Cassin’s though I would love the opportunity. It must have been amazing to see the W/C side by side. Thank you for the comment.

  3. Gorgeous detail and color. I love Kingbirds.

    • Julie, I love Kingbirds too, I saw an Eastern Kingbird a few weeks ago but wasn’t able to get a shot off before it flew away, maybe I will get another chance this week. Thanks!

  4. Gorgeous photo. Beautiful bokeh, Mia

  5. Wow, fantastic photo!

  6. Wow! Stunning portrait of a most handsome bird!

  7. Super shot..good luck with your next attempt on the owls.

  8. Consolation indeed! Beautimus.

  9. Beautiful yellows. Carol

  10. Nice image Mia! Beautiful birds.

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