Common Raven in flight

/, Common Ravens, Davis County, Utah/Common Raven in flight

I’ve struggled to get close to Common Ravens here in Utah, mostly they are in bad light or are too skittish to get close enough to nearly fill the frame but I was able to get some flight shots this morning.

Common Raven in flightCommon Raven in flight – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 400, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Ravens have always appealed to me even though some people might consider them “plain black birds”.  One of the reason I like them so much is that they are very smart and among the most intelligent birds in the world. I also love the iridescence that sometimes shows in their plumage plus Common Ravens are great  fun to observe and to photograph.

This bird was one of a pair that flew close enough to me to get some nice, nearly frame filling images of them with the Wasatch Mountain Range in the background.



  1. Dave Sparks February 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    This shot was worth the wait. Wonderful detail in the blacks.

    • Mia McPherson February 26, 2012 at 4:45 am

      Thanks Dave! I can’t tell you how many shots I have dumped because the blacks were all blocked up. Ravens are a challenge to expose correctly

  2. Mel February 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    “Yank my chain”! That’s a very good synopsis of these clever, gorgeous birds, and yes, a fabulous cruise shot!

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks very kindly Mel. They do know how to yank my chain!

  3. Julie Brown February 24, 2012 at 4:11 am

    Nice flight shot, Mia. It is not easy to get this posture. I saw Ravens in Moab, and although they seemed to have no fear, they did not like to be stared at!

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2012 at 6:23 am

      Julie, Ravens are easier to approach in areas where there are a lot of people like Moab, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, etc. Here they are skittish and like to yank my chain. When I do get close and get set up to take a shot they fly off right away. But I will get more chances with them. Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. Larry Jordan February 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Perfect lighting and awesome detail on your Common Raven Mia! I love Corvids of all persuasions because of their incredible intelligence they are very much fun to watch. This in flight shot is just amazing!

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2012 at 6:20 am

      Corvids are fantastic, aren’t they Larry? Such smart birds and great fun to watch. Thanks so much for your comment.

  5. Susan February 23, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Awesome, I love Ravens, they are fascinating creatures. We have a pair nesting close by they are gathering their materials now. I have been trying for days to get a good photo

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2012 at 6:19 am

      Susan, I look forward to seeing your images of the Ravens nesting near you. Ravens are fascinating.

  6. Laurence Butler February 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Nice shot! They’re sleek birds and crafty too. They have their own unique and beautiful appeal same as any bird. Your flying Raven looks contemplative. I wonder what he’s thinking about…

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2012 at 6:19 am

      Hi Laurence, The Raven was probably wondering why I had one big “eye” on it! Ravens are awesome birds.

  7. Tammy Karr February 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Gorgeous Mia! You highlight the beauty of all birds!

    • Mia McPherson February 24, 2012 at 6:18 am

      Thank you so much Tammy. We are so lucky to have such incredibly beautiful and diverse subjects!

  8. Bob Zeller February 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I agree with Robert Mortensen. A great exposure of it in flight. You caught all the nueances of the irridecence of the feathers. A nice sharp eye and highlight. Well done, Mia.

    • Mia McPherson February 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Thank you kindly Bob. These birds are almost as difficult to expose as American Coots!

  9. Scott February 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Terrific. It’s like suspended animation.

    • Mia McPherson February 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks for your comment Scott! The high shutter speed helped to freeze the action.

  10. Chuck Gangas February 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Terrific image Mia- you caught him flying off with a treat, and provided one for us as well!

    • Mia McPherson February 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Hiya Chuck! Thanks much for commenting. Maybe we will get a chance with Ravens next time you visit.

  11. Robert Mortensen February 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Wow! You accomplished a photographic feat there. Great feather detail on a black bird is hard enough alone, but you did it in flight. Amazing!

    • Mia McPherson February 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Robert, thanks for your comment! Ravens are a challenge.

  12. judy watson February 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    You make a ‘plain black bird’ beautiful.

    • Mia McPherson February 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      You are very kind Judy! Ravens intrigue me.

Comments are closed.