A Moose and her Calf

Moose cowMoose cow – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Yesterday we headed up Skyline Drive at the entrance to Bountiful Canyon to see if we could find any migrating raptors riding the thermals of the Wasatch Mountain Range and while that wasn’t a “bountiful” activity finding a Moose and her calf  feeding near a beaver pond was. The cow came down the hill first and at that point I couldn’t see that a calf was close behind her.

Young Moose - Oh, oh, she saw meOh, oh, she saw me – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

This calf was born in May or June and it has grown quite a bit since then. It has also gotten a longer neck, when the calves are first born their necks appear very short, almost neckless in appearance, you can see one here. This calf paid far more attention to our presence than the cow did.

Moose calf with its eye on meMoose calf with its eye on me – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

The Moose calf was wandering and feeding on different vegetation and when I saw this pose I just had to take a picture, it isn’t often I get to photograph a Moose’s rear end, I am far more proficient at getting images of bird rear ends!

Running Moose calfRunning Moose calf – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

The calf seemed to be nervous at times by something that was to the north of it and it would run towards where the cow was feeding but would stop near some tall trees.

Running again!Running again! – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

And at times it would turn and run the opposite direction. Maybe it was just stretching its legs or “feeling its oats” but I do know one thing for certain and that is I was delighted and amused with both of the Moose yesterday.


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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. Love these moose Mia, must have been so much fun to see them and what great backgrounds you got to boot!

  2. The calf looks very spunky! These animals are beautiful and I’m sure it was a delight to observe and photograph them:)

  3. What a wonderful opportunity, Mia! Thanks for sharing it :-)

  4. Oh, so cute!

  5. Beautiful shiny coats. Good eye contact.

  6. The over the shoulder look great! All of the images are but I really like that one. No moose in AR but we do have elk.

  7. Oh. An animal I have never seen (and probably will never see) in the wild, in an enviroment which is also very alien to me. Thank you so very much.
    And I love the no-neck calf too. An incredible change…

    • Thanks EC, I hope you will be able to see a Moose one day, they are awesome. I don’t recall seeing any habitat in Australia that resembles the beaver pond area these were photographed in so I understand how it would look alien to you.

  8. These are so wonderful!

  9. Great photos Mia.. The calf looks so friendly , and again makes me smile , especially to see that face in the ‘looking back’ pose..and great narrative that gives meaning to the shots.

  10. Great shots! Nice to see how sleek, shiny and healthy both mama and baby look…two very healthy looking animals. I’m assuming you were in the truck…it could be pretty hairy too close to a baby with the mama around. I love the eye rolling and backward glance. Plenty of moose here in Maine, too.

    • Patty, we were inside the truck, I don’t like to disturb my subjects and getting out of the truck probably would have bothered them but they are used to vehicles traveling on the road and usually just ignore vehicles. They are very healthy looking.

  11. Very nice, Mia! The calf is really cute. I went and looked at the other baby moose you linked to. I can’t believe how tiny it looked alongside its Mom. Thanks for sharing these. We see an occasional moose in our area too. A bit of a novelty for here, but becoming more frequent in recent years.

  12. Very nice Mia! The Moose is on my bucket list of animals to photograph.

  13. Oh yes, your Moose are beautiful, lovely stance and the prancing, superb.

  14. Great looks at an animal I have not yet seen. The calf was putting on a nice show for you. How fun!

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