Iridescent colors of a Black-billed Magpie

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Black-billed MagpieBlack-billed Magpie – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Most of the time Black-billed Magpies look like they are just black and white but if the bird’s pose and the light is just right there can be a wonderful flash of iridescent blue, green, teal, gold and even hints of purple.

Yesterday this Black-billed Magpie turned in flight while I was photographing it which allowed me a great dorsal view that showed the iridescent colors well. I do wish the out of focus bush hadn’t been in the frame or that it had been sharply in focus but I couldn’t resist sharing the image because of the beautiful colors.

Mia

The background in this image is the frozen water of the Great Salt Lake

35 Comments

  1. Hilke Breder March 8, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Stunning capture, Mia! Probably once in a life time.

    • Mia McPherson March 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Thank you Hilke, they are gorgeous birds.

  2. Eileen March 8, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Lovely colors and capture!

    • Mia McPherson March 9, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Thank you very much Eileen.

  3. Julie G. March 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Perfection!

  4. Prairie Birder March 7, 2013 at 12:16 am

    So pretty!

  5. Tammy Karr March 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Gorgeous image, Mia! The iridescent colors are stunning!

  6. Merrill Ann Gonzales March 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    You surely have made us aware of this magnificent bird…. It reminds me of the reflective quality of all feathers … and some birds are truly stunning… But who would have ever imaginged a Black-billed Magpie would be in that number. Many thanks.

    • Mia McPherson March 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks Merrill, they really are very colorful in the right light!

  7. Robert Mortensen March 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Mia, you do that species proud! Best magpie photography anywhere!

  8. Tami March 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Absolutely stunning.

  9. Pierre Cenerelli March 6, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Mia, you have outdone yourself (if that is possible)! I have yet to see a Magpie in North America, but have seen their almost identical relative in France and elsewhere in Europe, where they are a fixture in many urban parks. Once again, great shot!

    • Mia McPherson March 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you Pierre! You are very kind

  10. Larry Jordan March 6, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Wow! Is all I can say Mia. The iridescence, the pose and you even got the catch light. Gorgeous.

  11. Sherry in MT March 6, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Not only the colors but that they actually can look graceful in their flight. Not a bird I’m fond of but you are certainly showing a different side to them.

    • Mia McPherson March 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you Sherry, they are beautiful but noisy birds!

  12. Beverly Everson March 6, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Perfect!

  13. Bob Bushell March 6, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Natural as your photos Mia, this is one of them.

  14. eric c11 March 6, 2013 at 6:23 am

    ohhhh! !! so wonderfull
    one day, i would like to get a same oportunity to shot, but not to fast, just the time necessary to wait ^_^
    thanks a lot for sharing it mia ☺

    • Mia McPherson March 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      I hope you get that time Eric!

  15. Susan March 6, 2013 at 6:16 am

    You nailed it Mia, gorgeous photo:)

  16. judy watson March 6, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Beautiful capture!

  17. Bonnie peel March 6, 2013 at 5:12 am

    Wow,that is gorgeous Mia. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work. Should I call it work? 🙂

    • Mia McPherson March 6, 2013 at 5:27 am

      Thank you Bonnie, I guess you could call it my passion!

  18. M. Firpi March 6, 2013 at 4:57 am

    This is so gorgeous it looks like a painting or water-colour. The OOF bush doesn’t bother me.

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