Snowy Coyote, Chukar and Antelope Island State Park

Chukar in the airChukar in the air – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Yesterday when I saw this running Chukar image on my camera LCD in mid-stride and mid-air I had to chuckle because it looks something like a feathered Nerf football some one tossed across the snow. It does give a great view of the whole bird though!

There was about 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground on Antelope Island yesterday, some of the roads weren’t even plowed yet and while there was lovely light to the west it had not reached the island when I photographed the Chukar.

Snow-covered CoyoteSnow-covered Coyote – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 640, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light, not baited or called in

Then later I spotted Old Scarface again, a pale Coyote who has scars on its muzzle, and another darker, smaller Coyote. I think this pale Coyote is a male because he looks slightly larger than the other one, but I can’t be sure. The female hung back but this Coyote came up close and appeared to be looking for voles under the thick layer of snow, this image was taken right after the Coyote stuck its muzzle into the snow to sniff out prey.  I have photographed this Coyote before but hadn’t noticed that its eyes are a darker amber than most Coyotes I have seen, maybe it was just the flat light.

This Coyote may have an injured foot, it did walk gingerly on the foot but at times I could see it just walking on its other three legs.

I’ll be posting more images of the Coyotes and the Chukars I photographed yesterday soon.

Snow-covered rocks on Antelope IslandSnow-covered rocks on Antelope Island – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, +1.7 EV, Nikkor 18-200mm VR at 42mm, natural light

This image shows the clouds over the island and they were the reason the light was flat, I liked the way the snow covered these rocks and how the drifts seemed a part of them.

More snow is on the way and it might be a few days before I can get back out to photograph. I have plenty of images that need to be edited though. The snow on Antelope Island has been beautiful this winter and hopefully the next time I go out there the sun will shine brightly on it.

Mia

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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.

39 Comments

  1. Pingback: Female Short-eared Owl on a snowy day

  2. Pingback: Low light Coyotes in snow

  3. Great shot of the chukar, Mia!

  4. Humming bird Lover

    Hi! The chukar is saying I getting out of here fast! Ha Ha love it.

  5. Humming bird Lover

    Hi! Great pic’s! Love seeing the critters in the snow! I am jeaulous! Would love to be walking in the snow! Such good shots.

  6. My husband just touched ground in Salt Lake on a connection to New Orleans. He described landing in snow-covered terrain and I immediately thought of you and Utah, and of your gorgeous images of snow creatures. The Chukar, as others have mentioned is so “cute.” (I know, I was trained not to use that word to describe wildlife.) The Snow White song, “Whistle While You Work” popped into my head when I saw the photo. As Wally wrote, I do hope the coyote is okay with that possible foot injury!

    • Ingrid, I hope that Hugh had some sunlight when he touched down here, I saw a gorgeous sunset image taken by a friend tonight, might have been the best light of the day at that time. I know, I am guilty of using “cute” some times too and that Chukar is cute in that pose. Now I have “whistle while you work” stuck in my head!

  7. I love these photos, especially the Chukar, just awesome:)

  8. Pingback: Low light Coyotes in snow | Mia McPherson's On The Wing Photography

  9. The Chukar mid-stride is great, and unusual capture!

  10. Great pics! Snow always offers an excellent background to photos.

  11. Mia, I love that Chukar. It would be a real treat to see these one day. Beautiful shots!!!!

  12. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    I love the way the undulation of the rocks echoes the undulation in the clouds…. A lovely little lyric poem that one. I’m wondering if your coyote is old… somehow there’s a bit of age eminating from his demeaner… And your chukar is certainly a clown…. and that image is great for understanding the physical nature of the bird. Thanks for a great treat today…. We’re melting here, but the freezing comes back this weekend. Stay warm and filled with the love of your art till the snow stops.

    • Merrill, the Coyote might be old, he sure seems to be fearless. I loved the clouds in the landscape shot with tiny bits of blue sky showing through, kind of hopeful. Thanks for your comments on these images.

  13. I’m surprised the Chukar can run in the snow without bogging down in it. Maybe a bit of a crust on the surface helped?
    Comparing your Coyote to our locals shows quite a difference. Since ours don’t need the extra fur to protect against severe cold, they look emaciated next to yours. Hope your guy overcomes any injury to his foot/leg.
    Great shot of the rocks and sky in the background. I love looking at pictures of snow…..from a distance…..a very great distance! :)

    • Wally, the image of the Chukar was taken where the snow had been previously plowed, they do have much more trouble on deep powdery snow. Our Coyotes do get very fluffy in winter compared to the ones in Florida. Thanks much for your comment.

  14. Oh my, I laughed aloud when I saw the Chukar, Mia. What an awesome capture!

  15. that Chukar looks like he was on a mission..love it..the coyote is great and the snow and rocks are fabulous. I love the continuity of the snow blending into the rocks. Great job …

  16. That chukar makes me chuckle too. What a great fun photo! Your landscape one is very nice as well. The coyotes are probably really on the hunt with all that new snow, love the shot.

  17. I like the coyote’s face full of snow. That prodigious keen, sense of smell will help them through winter.

  18. Very pretty Mia. That Chukar looks like he has cold feet!

  19. I love the snow covered Coyote, splendid photos.

  20. ha ha ha, the chukar pose is wonderfull ^^ well done mia ☺

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