Portrait of a Dark-eyed Junco in a Snow Storm

/, Dark-eyed Juncos, Salt Lake County, Utah/Portrait of a Dark-eyed Junco in a Snow Storm

Dark-eyed Junco portrait in a snow stormDark-eyed Junco portrait in a snow storm – Nikon D500, tripod mounted, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, under feeder

We’ve had two big snow storms in the past week and another one is heading our way as I type this but this afternoon’s storm isn’t supposed to dump a lot of snow on us like the last two have. Or so the weather forecasters say but who knows we might get another 14 inches because they are wrong more often than they are right.

Yesterday afternoon I was getting a bit of cabin fever so I took the screen out of my living room window, set up my tripod, mounted my camera and photographed the some of the birds that were coming to my bird feeder in the front yard. When I first started photographing the sparrows, juncos, finches and nuthatches I had my teleconverter on but that was too tight for the birds on the feeder and I clipped a lot of tail feathers.

As the snow from the storm fell I noticed some of the Dark-eyed Juncos feeding on the ground and I was able to photograph this junco’s portrait as it hid behind a mound of snow. I had hoped to get the whole body of the bird on top of the snow but I kind of like the way this photo turned out. The dark area behind the bird at the top of the left side of the frame is actually the front tire of my Jeep parked at the curb. I like how there is frost on the junco’s face and snowflakes stuck to its pink bill.

This Dark-eyed Junco is a male of the Oregon group, one of the four junco subspecies groups I see here in northern Utah and the subspecies I see most often.

I don’t do much feeder photography at all but it was fun to watch and photograph the birds in the snow storm yesterday from the warmth of my living room for a change, in fact this might be only the fourth of fifth bird feeder photo in my galleries.

I am glad we are finally getting a taste of winter and that there has been a lot of snow falling in the mountains because it has been so weirdly mild up until now.

Life is good.



  1. Andy February 24, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Beautiful shot in the snow

  2. Andy February 24, 2018 at 4:46 pm


  3. Pepe Forte February 24, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Striking pic Mia. I love the feeling of depth you achieved with such limited foreground and background colors to work with. Thanks.

  4. April Olson February 24, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I like the individual snow flakes on it’s beak and the detail of the feathers, even the pin feathers around the eye.

  5. Lucy Ricardo February 24, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Hi Mia,
    I wish I could send you some LA sunshine, I would even trade with you for a few days. I like the photo, and the story. I have hummers in my backyard, and often I remove the screen in my bedroom in order to shoot them. Stay Warm! and good hunting. I truly enjoy your photos.

  6. Bob McPherson February 24, 2018 at 7:58 am


  7. Porcupine February 24, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Nice shot. I find Dark Eyed Juncos very common, very numerous and very difficult to photograph.

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