I love Chukars in snow!

Fluffed up Chukar in snow Fluffed up Chukar in snow

These Chukar images were taken last Friday and this bird is the same one in my post titled “Some fun with birds from yesterday“, I wanted to share more photos of it. Snow was still falling lightly when I started taking these pictures and a few flakes of it still show on the Chukar’s plumage.

Alert Chukar in snow Alert Chukar in snow

I’m not sure why the Chukar went on alert but it seemed to be trying to stop itself from calling out. There were probably more Chukars in the area but I couldn’t spot them.

Chukar running down a snow-covered rock Chukar running down a snow-covered rock

Shortly after the Chukar went on alert it moved to another spot on the snow-covered rock.

Chukar and flying snow Chukar and flying snow

I like how this image shows snow flying near the Chukar’s foot as it hurried down the r0ck.

Chukar slowly walking in snow Chukar slowly walking in snow

Then the Chukar slowed down, whatever danger it sensed was obviously gone. And there are still snow flakes on the bird.

Chukar with one foot raised Chukar with one foot raised

The Chukar stopped and appeared calm enough to raise one foot and look around, mostly at the two big lenses pointed at it. I really love the smooth background these pictures have because the bird stands out so well from it.

Chukar scratching Chukar scratching

I think those tiny snow flakes caused the bird to scratch vigorously for a few seconds but it could have been something else too. I do wish the Chukar’s eye had been open when I took this image.

Chukar in the snow Chukar in the snow

The Chukar went back to a relaxed pose for a few minutes then took off flying very quickly. I don’t know if a predator flew over or if the Chukar might have spotted a Coyote and decided to leave but I am glad that it gave us ample time to photograph it before it left.


*All images taken with a Nikon D300 at f6.3, shutter speeds of 1/1600 to 1/2000, +0.7 EV with a Nikkor 200-400mm VR lens plus a 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited.


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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. Humming bird Lover

    Hi! I can feel for their feet it is snowy and in the 20’s here today! I Chuk-aled too when I look at your great pictures. Thanks for making my day! Fab-u-les shots. Have a great weekend

  2. Mia, I miss seeing chukars! I use to have them in my yard at times when I lived in Clearfield! You got some wonderful shots and I think birds always close their eyes when scratching, don’t they? Anyways, it look natural that way. He looks like he is really concentrating on his scratching! LOL!

    • Kathie, be glad you aren’t in Utah today, I-15 and I-215 are skating rinks, we are having and ice/rain event, a lot of accidents on side roads too.

      I hope you get up here this year to see the Chukars again… when it is warmer and NOT coated in ice.

  3. I really like this series. I love the succession of activity and the pleasing contrast/blending (I know, that’s contradictory) of the bird with the snow.

  4. I thank you for introducing me to this bird.

  5. The snow is such a perfect backdrop for these guys it really makes their gray plumage pop. You did a great job with this one and I really like the “I got snow in my eye” one!

  6. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    You can really see, from these photos, that if the chukar huddled in a tight ball, it might appear to just be a rock in the snow…. Seeing the rear of a bird is as important as it’s brilliant parts. Many thanks… They surely give you a chuckle watching them…

  7. Love them all, but my favorites are #5 Chukar slowly walking in snow and #6 Chukar with one foot raised. It’s so cute when they pull their heads back and they look plump and happy. Very well done, Mia. Especially in the cold snow!

  8. I especially enjoy seeing the blue and rose in its plumage! These are becoming favorite birds for me! Thanks,

  9. Beautiful in the snow, I love your photos.

  10. Fantastic images Mia, I especially like the very first one:)

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