Low angle Long-billed Curlew

Long-billed Curlew on the beach at Fort De SotoLong-billed Curlew on the beach at Fort De Soto – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Since winter has thus far decided to stay in more northern latitudes and higher elevations I decided to post an image of a Long-billed Curlew taken in southern, sub-tropical climes a few years ago. Maybe it will tick Winter off enough to show up in its frosty cloak and icy breath. We’ve only had snow twice and it is December??

A few weeks before I left Florida to move to Utah a Long-billed Curlew showed up at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach and stayed there for the entire nesting season which ended weeks after I had moved west. I had fun photographing the graceful shorebird before I moved.

When I photographed this female curlew I was flat on my stomach and a little lower than the bird, there were little mounds of out of focus sand between the bird and my lens and my selection of a shallow depth of field created the soft blur near the birds feet.  Because of my low angle and the birds elevation on the sand dune there is only sky in the background, the water of the Gulf of Mexico was below the sand dune.


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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. Mia, I love this! i saw hundreds of curlews at the Salton Sea but none of my shots are as good as this! Well done! Love this species!

  2. Nice angle to show how long that bill is! I wonder how the bird balances it? It must be very light.

  3. Love this shot Mia. A very pretty bird.

  4. The curlew is a bird that I find fascinating!

  5. I love the way you exhibit the curlew in this photo. I can’t tell you how much I love this bird! Thanks for sharing Mia.

  6. I don’t know that Curlew, but I recognize that sand! Great shot and a good reminder for us all to practice laying down on the job more often! :)

  7. I really like the low angle effect. Exceptional photograph of this beautiful long-billed bird! Fabulous detail.

  8. Mia, this is a wonderful photo of an odd looking bird. I always wonder how they walk around without running into things with those long bills…

  9. Once again Mia, lovely picture and I’m impressed you could get laid down in the sand and not scare the bird off! We are with you time for SNOW darnit! It was in the 40s this weekend and we had rain – in December! Just wrong I say, just wrong.

    • Sherry, we’ve been getting rain this week and it is supposed to rain today and tomorrow, it should be SNOW!!It is wrong.

      Thanks for your comment on this curlew image, it was a fun bird to photograph.

  10. Mia,

    It’s not just the angle you captured here, it’s the light, colors and composition as well. You have such a wonderful eye for nature and are so talented behind the lens. Thanks for the share, now maybe I will try laying on my belly. :)

  11. A beautiful bird and well done Mia.

  12. Beautiful shot, Mia. I like the way you work at getting those low angles.

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