Black-bellied Plover in beach habitat

Black-bellied Plover in habitat

Black-bellied Plover in habitat – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

I mentioned in my Tricolored Heron post a while ago that I like images where they show the natural habitat the birds live in, in part I feel that way because it lends a sense of place and also because of the visual interest the natural habitat gives to images. I can’t imagine the image above would hold much appeal for many people if this had been taken while the Black-bellied Plover stood on a blacktopped road.

This Black-bellied Plover was standing on a dune dunelet that wasn’t much higher than the sand around it that had sparse short grasses which I found appealing.

Black-bellied PloverBlack-bellied Plover – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1500, ISO 320, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Both of these images are of the same bird, in this frame it had moved a little south and was closer to the tiny mangrove trying to establish itself on the dunelet.

I like to make a habit of including habitat whenever the opportunity presents itself and it often does.

More from my recent trip to Montana soon, I was too busy yesterday to process any of the images.


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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. Pingback: Posts from the Past – Shorebirds

  2. Nice images, especially the first one. Thanks for sharing, Mia.

  3. I love to see natural habitat (and loved the plover and could almost feel that sand between my toes) – but sometimes a truly unnatural habitat also adds to the photo – if only for the contrast. Or am I just rationalising?

  4. Mia, adorable shot of the Black-bellied Plover. Perfect photos!

  5. I left a comment before. But, I came back to them this afternoon and my comment is – What charming birds and so regal, but where are the black bellies?

  6. As I get more attuned to habitat, I am more likely to look in the appropriate places when out seeking birds-it does make a difference.Like this shot of the plover.

  7. Wow, I love those pearly black eyes!

  8. Those are really nice shots. Love the natural habitat – it really adds to the photo. I like to do the same, but I find that Meadowlarks are invariably on a fencepost right by the road, and rarely perch on anything else, unless it’s down in the grass where I can’t see them. They’ll land on barbwire a lot too.

  9. I really like that first one with all the natural tones and touches of green – very peacefuland relaxing.

  10. These are wonderfully interesting photos. The birds are exceptional and the habit does indeed add a dimension to the whole scene. Thank you for all you beautiful work. I can’t wait to see it each morning.

  11. Excellent feather detail on this handsome bird, Mia. A species I have yet to see in person. I totally agree with you about including habitat in bird images.

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