A Shrike kind of day

Loggerhead Shrike perched on sagebrushLoggerhead Shrike perched in sagebrush and rabbitbrush – Nikon D200, f8, 1/640, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

There are days when I see a certain species of birds quite often, depending on location it might be an Eagle filled day, or a Shorebird day. Today was a Shrike kind of day on Antelope Island State Park. I like those kind of days because you can often find the birds with different types of backgrounds and because it is breeding season right now there are usually pairs of birds in close proximity to each other.

In the photo above the vegetation is Sagebrush and Rabbitbrush in the foreground and the brownish-red tufts in the background I believe are Cheatgrass, an introduced and invasive species from Eurasia. Still, the colors of the Cheatgrass are pretty.

Not the typical Bird on a Stick (BOAS) image but one I find very appealing because of the depth the surrounding habitat provides in the frame.

Loggerhead Shrikes are a perching bird but they look more like a small raptor because of their hooked bills. Their black, white and soft gray plumage looks handsome to me especially against the soft greens of sagebrush and rabbitbrush.

Loggerhead Shrike looking downLoggerhead Shrike looking down – Nikon D200, f8, 1/500, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Today the light was iffy because of a bank of clouds hanging over the mountains to the east that often blocked the sunlight but it broke through often enough to get good light on these Shrikes. It was a challenge though trying change the EV compensation because the light was changing constantly. Still, despite the challenges I think it was a great bird photography day… especially for Loggerhead Shrikes.



  1. Julie Brown June 3, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Hi Mia,
    I like both images, but especially the first one because I really enjoy seeing habitat around a bird. The grasses in the background have a flow and a nice color wash. You have also managed to make this fierce little bird look cute!

    I’m really looking forward to visiting Antelope Island. I also found a place to bird in Moab during my workshop breaks. Have you heard of Scott Matheson Preserve?

  2. Nicole MacP June 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Lovely pics, I like the way you have the habitat in the first pic too, that’s a very dynamic image! I also like the softness of the second pic!

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