Chukars on a cold winter morning

Chukar warming in the morning light
Chukar warming in the morning light – Nikon D300, f9, 1/800, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light

I’ve been seeing the Chukars on Antelope Island regularly since the snow started to stay on the ground. I read yesterday that this recent storm has dumped quite a bit more out there yesterday and I can’t wait to get back on the island to photograph the birds and animals. I photographed these Chukars three days ago, there was a bevy of them hunkered down and all fluffed up against the cold that were basking in the warmth of the rising sun.

Fluffed up Chukar on a rock
Fluffed up Chukar on a rock – Nikon D300, f9, 1/500, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

It is going to be bitter cold for the next few days so I imagine I will be seeing more fluffed up Chukars when I go to the island.

It is almost hard to believe that in just two months these Chukars will be fighting for territories as they begin the mating season while there is over 9 inches of fresh snow on the ground where I live this morning.


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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. Like these birds, you know it has been pretty cold here the last few days and I see them puffing up to keep warm. I just can’t think about two months from now because here it may not be much different from now.

    • Jane, you are right, two months from now it might not be any different. March is usually when temps here warm up enough to go camping, I hope that happens again this spring.

  2. I can’t believe that some of most beautiful birds are called “game birds”, these have such nice light.

    • Maria, these birds were brought to North America so people could shoot them, I only hope that those who do hunt them, eat them otherwise it is just slaughtering them.

  3. I love these photos, what a beautiful bird

  4. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    I’ve just seen two inches of thick hard ice finally melt around my place….while we don’t have 9′ of snow it did leave me housebound. That second photo of your puffed up Chukar is an image I can identify with personally… We’ve had some streaks of bitter cold come through this year and at such times when our bodies haven’t been ready for it since we’ve had some streaks of high temps come through too. So hunkering down is the plan for the day most days. These are truly gorgeous birds and your photos reveal just how marvelous they are. Many thanks.

  5. Love the coloring in these birds. Your fist shot is really cool and can’t wait to see more cool shots from your time on the Island after the snow.

  6. cute and beautifull, well done mia ☺

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