Western Kingbird on Barbed Wire

Western Kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis) appear to have had a wonderful nesting season here in Utah because there are plenty of young birds perching on wires and branches loudly demanding food from the frazzled looking adults.

Western KingbirdWestern Kingbird – Nikon D200, f10, 1/750, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 264mm, natural light

When I first spotted this adult Western Kingbird on Monday on the road from the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge auto tour loop it was perched below a cross beam on an old fence and it appeared to be resting in the shade of the beam above it. Can’t say I blame the bird because at only 9:55 am the temperature was already close to 90. When the Kingbird moved to this strand of barbed wire it kept the upper portion of its wings slightly away from its body, probably to help keep it cooler.

I was fairly close to this bird, I had to back my zoom up so the bird would fit in the frame without clipping parts of it and I selected f10 so I would have a bit more depth of field to get the bird and barbed wire sharply in focus.



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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 photographing birds. My approach is to photograph the birds without disturbing their natural behavior. I don't bait, use set ups or call them in. I use Nikon gear and has multiple camera bodies and lenses.


  1. A photograph of a kingbird perched on wire fencing may not seem remarkable, but in my opinion this underscores an important aspect–the success of flycatcher species such as kingbirds on account of human effects. The Western Kingbird is part of a complex of four species in the U.S. which appear to be similar.

  2. I love the tone matching between bird and wire.

  3. Awesome capture Mia!

  4. Excellent capture of the WK, Mia.

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