A first year Prairie Falcon

A first year Prairie FalconA first year Prairie Falcon – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/800, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

In the fall of 2011 I enjoyed being able to photograph this first year Prairie Falcon several times close to the Great Salt Lake in Utah. This young falcon hunted the birds found along the shoreline of the lake which at that time of the year was primarily waterfowl. Prairie Falcons inhabit the western U.S. southern portions of western Canada and northern areas of Mexico. During the winter birds are the primary prey of Prairie Falcons and during the breeding season they will take ground squirrels, lizards and insects.

Today is International Migratory Bird Day, a day when across the U.S. and Canada events and festivals are held to raise public awareness about birds and bird migrations, the environment and conservation. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is hosting a celebration of our feathered friends today that sounds like it will be great fun for everyone. Next week the Great Salt Lake Birding Festival opens on May 15th and runs through May 19th. Utah is a great place for birds and bird lovers!

I’m hoping to find some birds today to enjoy.


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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 photographing birds. My approach is to photograph the birds without disturbing their natural behavior. I don't bait, use set ups or call them in. I use Nikon gear and has multiple camera bodies and lenses.


  1. What a fantastic photo Mia. I’m comparing it to the illustrations in my new book, “THE SIBLEY GUIDE TO BIRDS, SECOND EDITION” just published this year, which points out the similarity to the Peregrine Falcon, both in appearance and voice. I did a walk this morning (5K Fun Run) at the Ogden Nature Center and found this book in the gift shop for $39.99 (no tax) and highly recommend this updated book for the more serious North American birder, or for someone like me who is not so serious but wants help identifying the birds I do see.

    • P.S. Thanks for the links. I didn’t see near enough birds in Kenya, so hope to make it to Tim’s Keynote address (Birding in West Africa-Ghana & Cameroon).

  2. I too am hoping you find some birds to enjoy today – and every day.

  3. humming bird lover


    Great photo! So Great! beautiful colors. Have a great day!

  4. Beautiful bird. Great detail in the photo.

  5. Such a nice photo of the Falcon – they’re such pretty birds!

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