An Adult American Avocet in its breeding plumage

Adult American Avocet in its breeding plumageAdult American Avocet in its breeding plumage – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Three days ago I saw my first of the season American Avocets flying over the causeway to Antelope Island State Park and I let out a gleeful “whoop”! There were four of them flying quickly towards the south and not one of them made a sound. Soon there will be thousands of American Avocets lining the shoreline of the causeway, and the other locations in the Great Salt Lake ecosystem that appeals to them.

The American Avocet above is in breeding plumage, I photographed it on the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge auto tour route in April of 2012. There is plenty for the avocets to eat at the refuge and there are brine flies to dine on in the Great Salt Lake.

These elegant shore birds always delight me but truthfully shorebirds always do.


P.S. I’ll be on the road for a bit, please feel free to share this post with your friends and family.

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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. Some very lovely color and marking on that bird.

  2. Fabulous photo! Beautiful bird!

  3. Spectacular photograph, Mia! We usually only see them during migration and they’re dressed in their drab winter plumage.

  4. Gorgeous elegant harbinger of spring.

  5. Jane Chesebrough

    This is such a beautiful bird, always enjoy seeing photos of this one as well as the real thing!

  6. What a GREAT capture!!! One of best of this bird I’ve seen! Love it…AND what it implies!!! Congratulations and think SPRING!!!

  7. Very pretty. We get them up here in NE Montana too.

  8. I like the warm brown head and neck. They truly are very handsome birds.

  9. Beautiful, whoopee. Thanks Mia.

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