Mountain Plover on Antelope Island State Park

Mountain Plover on Antelope Island State ParkMountain Plover on Antelope Island State Park – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Eight months ago I spotted two Mountain Plovers on Antelope Island State Park and I am still blown away by seeing and photographing those beautiful shorebirds who are uncommon in Utah. Uncommon enough that my sighting of these two birds was only the tenth record accepted by the Utah Bird Records Committee.

I have to wonder since these plovers winter in California and Arizona and breed to the north and east of Utah if they aren’t in Utah more often than we know. Maybe in the spring they rest for a bit on golf courses and sod farms in Utah which would provide the low vegetation they prefer.

I know that I will be keeping an eye out for them in the spring but it is possible to see them even in December as the 9th confirmed sighting in Utah of a Mountain Plover before mine was by Mike Hearell on Christmas Day of 2012.

I am very glad I trained my lens on a pair of tiny birds in the distance to see what they were otherwise I might have missed these lovely Mountain Plovers.


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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. Just looking at this photo, again…such a beautiful little bird…and a great image…composition is perfect!

  2. Congratulations. A win for you – and for avian knowledge.

  3. Wonderful find, Mia! Outstanding photograph of a beautiful plover! Congratulations!

  4. A lovely Christmas bird to watch for and a beautiful image for this wintry day.

  5. Amazing what you can spot when curiosity makes you zoom in on an unidentified bird and you get a surprise like this. Good going and I hope you find more.

  6. I would certainly love to spot these beauties in the wild instead of on those sod farms. You had really satisfying views. Such a cool bird.

  7. Love these birds, wish we could see more. Fantastic photos, some of the best ever of this species!

  8. Superb little Plover, well taken Mia.

  9. Congrats on your wonderful capture of a beautiful bird. I have never seen one.

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