Black-billed Magpie building a nest after a snow

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Black-billed Magpie nesting building in the snowBlack-billed Magpie building a nest in the snow – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/2000, +0.3 EV, 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I have spent hours photographing Black-billed Magpies on many days and it has always been fun but challenging. Black-billed Magpies are difficult to expose correctly because of the high contrasts of the blacks and whites.

The magpies have begun to build their nests again this year and yesterday I felt that I had a real treat being able to photograph this Black-billed Magpie building a nest after a snow. I hadn’t had that opportunity before. It was even more of a challenge because of the pure white snow.

The magpies didn’t start nest building first thing in the morning, my thoughts on that are they waited until the sun began to melt the snow which made it easier for them to find the twigs and small branches under the snow and because the ground defrosted so they could get the mud they use in the nest construction.

I missed the chicks fledging last year because I was on a trip to southern Utah, I hope I can get some shots of the chicks of this pair venturing out into the world for the first time this year.


More nesting Black-billed Magpies

One Comment

  1. Julie Brown March 10, 2011 at 3:05 am

    I only see magpies when I go out west. That would be fun to watch one build a nest. You did a great job with the exposure.

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