Black-crowned Night Heron at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge

Black-crowned Heron foragingBlack-crowned Heron foraging

Bear River National Wildlife Refuge is one of my favorite Utah locations to photograph birds, I was there two days ago and the south section of the auto tour route had the most action because it currently has the most water. I spotted this Black-crowned Night Heron that was almost hidden by the vegetation but as soon as we stopped it darted towards some open water in foraging mode. After a bit the heron appeared to just be resting so we left it to doze.

Black-crowned Night Heron in flight over the Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeBlack-crowned Night Heron in flight over the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Further down the road I spotted a Pied-billed Grebe on a nest and we stopped to photograph it, there was a dark SUV coming up behind the pickup and as it drew closer I could see that the Black-crowned Night Heron had taken flight and was flying towards me in nice light. I was able to get a series of about 15 images of the heron before it passed the pick up.

Black-crowned Night Heron Fly ByBlack-crowned Night Heron Fly By

I am almost certain that the driver of the SUV with Washington plates didn’t mean to scare up the heron but it did give me an opportunity to photograph this Black-crowned Night Heron in flight.

Today marks my 800th post on my blog, it seems like only a few months ago I announced my 500th post!


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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. Thanks everyone, your comments are wonderful.

  2. i was sure i’d left a comment about this beautiful heron! lovely shots Mia, the bright eye and eye-contact in flight is excellent

  3. Oh, that eye of his/hers!
    Beautiful capture.
    And, a hearty congratulations on another milepost!!

  4. Simply outstanding!!

  5. What an amazingly lovely bird! Don’t you love it when something you think is going to ruin a shot (another car) turns into amazing images!

  6. Really beautiful shots, Mia. The Black-Crowned Night Heron is a lovely bird and the one of him wading is my favorite! Congratulations on your 800th post!!

  7. Wonderful Photos Mia ! The first image is my favorite . Congratulations on your 800th post and for sharing your art with all of us !

  8. Your Black-crowned night heron shot is one of the most beautiful bird pictures I’ve seen…great background provides context, great composition, great detail,,,even down to tiny floating feather. Good work! Congratulatiions on your 800th.

  9. Brilliant photos of the Night Heron.

  10. Excellent Mia. What a great set of photos to celebrate your 800th post. So pristine, they look almost hand drawn.

  11. Great photos, Mia. We’re headed there tomorrow. Hope we have the same opportunity. Have seen several GBH’s but have yet to see a Black-crowned Night Heron.

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