Early Spring Chukar

Yawning ChukarYawning Chukar – Nikon D300, f8, 1/1250, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 285mm, natural light

Yesterday it looked like I was going to get skunked, the clouds kept moving in and out, mostly in when there was a bird nearby and out when there weren’t any birds around. The wind was blowing, not nearly a gale but it was coming from the north and felt icy and wind can often times keep birds down. I’d gotten a few Western Meadowlark images I didn’t feel were going to be that great so I felt skunked.

Before leaving Antelope Island though we drove around near the marina and I spotted this early spring Chukar on a boulder and in between the shadows of the clouds racing by I was able to take a few well lit images. The Chukar wasn’t calling in this frame, it was yawning.

Calling ChukarCalling Chukar – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 235mm, natural light

Before too long I heard the sound of wings and the noises that Chukars make when they are disturbed or flying (or both) nearby and this Chukar reacted to their presence by calling.

Chukar stretchingChukar stretching – Nikon D300, f8, 1/400, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 235mm, natural light

And it also did a stretch. I wish the stretched out wing actually showed in this image but I don’t get to see them stretch often so I am happy.

Chukar calling in early springChukar calling in early spring – Nikon D300, f8, 1/1000, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 285mm, natural light

Right after it stretched it began calling again. The call can be heard here, a little more than half way down the page. It is breeding season for the Chukars so I expect I’ll be hearing them quite often.

Chukar on a boulderChukar on a boulder – Nikon D300, f8, 1/500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 228mm, natural light

Some times there is one bird that makes (or perhaps saves) a day, yesterday it was this Chukar for me. I can say I didn’t get skunked!

Mia

22 Comments

  1. Dave Sparks March 20, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I would love to get skunked like this. I’ve never seen a Chukar. It’s on my short list of birds with “science fiction plumage.”

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      One day you’ll have to travel out here Dave, we have Chukars galore on Antelope Island! They do have a sort of sci-fi plumage thing going on.

  2. Bryce Robinson March 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Wow, the colors in these photos are spectacular. I especially love the stretching. I’m jealous of your talent Mia.

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      Bryce, I’m jealous of your painting and drawing talent. But I can now wear your art on my back! Love the T Shirts you did for hawk Watch International, Ron gave me one as a gift.

  3. Bob Bushell March 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Beautiful spring day with the Chukar.

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      It was a beautiful day Bob, thank you!

  4. Jane Chesebrough March 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Amused by the actions and always enjoy seeing your Chukars. We don’t get them here, the closest is Grey Partridge.

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Jane, we have Gray Partridges here too but not as many as Chukars and they are far harder to locate. I did see some a few weeks ago up near Golden Spike National Monument.

  5. eric c11 March 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

    it s nice to see all the positions he takes for you, like in studio lol
    well done mia ☺

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks Eric, they are active birds.

  6. Lynn Koch March 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Glad you didn’t get skunked!! Really beautiful shots of a really lovely bird!

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Thanks Lynn, I was glad I didn’t get skunked too, it sure looked like I might

  7. Tami March 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

    It feels like spring just looking at the light in these, Mia. And I love the series – when you scroll through them quickly it almost looks like it’s doing a dance 🙂

  8. Sherry in MT March 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Such a pretty bird and so glad you didn’t get skunked. We had gale force winds yesterday and not only were the birds down so were we…in the house!

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:06 pm

      Sherry, those gale force winds do force birds and people down! I prefer to be inside when it is howling. Thanks for your comment.

  9. M. Firpi March 18, 2013 at 7:33 am

    What nice scenery you have now that everything is melting, those shrubs look really nice.

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      Thanks Maria, it is nice to see things starting to green up here.

  10. Ricky March 18, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Great shooting Mia, nicely blogged. Love your work! 🙂

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you very much Ricky!

  11. Dan Huber March 18, 2013 at 5:51 am

    wonderful shots Mia, a really pretty bird.

    • Mia McPherson March 22, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks Dan, I just love their plumage!

Comments are closed.