An American Avocet

Currently I am considering pursuing legal action against a commercial web site in Layton, Utah that has stolen 4 of my copyrighted images and used them on their site.  The process of making a legal claim is daunting to me, however; I feel that I have to stand up and fight for what is legally mine AND protected by law. The unauthorized use and redistribution of our copyrighted images for commercial gain is illegal. The first step is finding an attorney that specializes in Copyright Laws.

I’ve been super busy lately and the extended daylight hours of summer have meant getting up much earlier to be on location before the sun rises. I will do my best to respond to all of the wonderful comments left on previous posts.

Yesterday we were out on Antelope Island State Park, the gnats were still biting but I believe our unseasonably high temperatures are beginning to kill off the little buggers.

American AvocetAmerican Avocet in sun scorched vegetation – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/400, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 350mm, natural light

There are some American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana) on the island that are great subjects to photograph, I like how the sun-scorched vegetation has the same colors & hues as this shorebird in breeding plumage.



  1. Mathew July 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    If your images are being used without your permission and for the gain of others (they are generating income from your work) then you very well have a legitimate argument. My website has thousands of images, but with copyright having expired on them, and it is a project for which I have earned nothing. There are print collectors who make their inventory of outdated plates available on their sites, but have taken measures to try to prevent others (myself) from duplicating their images–this could be by having their business name imposed over the image or by preventing any saving/storing of the image. From someone who uses a computer for hardly a few hours each week, I will attest to being able to get around these obstacles with no difficulty. I was forwarded an image of a bird with the print collector’s name imposed over the figure, and it took me twelve minutes with Adobe Photoshop to edit it out. As it goes with various outlets of media entertainment, once you make it available on the Internet it is difficult to oversee how it should or should not be disseminated.

    • Mia McPherson July 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm


      The day I wrote this post I hired an attorney who specializes in Intellectual Property Law and have left the matter in his capable hands. This company was using my images on a site that generates income. I wouldn’t walk in to their office and steal from them but that is essentially what they did to me. Time will tell.

  2. Stu June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Mia, wonderful shot.

    Try this site and post the issue there. I used them for some legal advice recently, and it helped me make decisions and directed me to further resources.


  3. Julie G. June 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Perfection! A stunning image of a most elegant bird. Your photographs blow me away, Mia! So sorry to hear about the theft of your photographs … such a shame.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you Julie, Avocets are beautiful & elegant.

  4. Merrill Ann Gonzales June 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Wonderful photos … it’s such a joy to see these birds up close… Thanks for sharing an experience I might never have had without your camera!

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Thanks Merrill, they are elegant birds.

  5. Vincent Mistretta June 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Im really sorry to hear about the legal trouble. It is terrible to realize that we are in a society that puts so little importance in the intellectual property of others. Sorry you have to go through this, keep smiling.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Vincent, I always keep smiling & laughing!

  6. Dan Huber June 19, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Wonderful image Mia, sorry to hear about the theft of your images. How horrible that it must now create stress and time lost on your part, but I agree you should defend your property.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      Dan, thanks for your comment on this image. I’ve hired an attorney and left the matter in their hands.

  7. Carol Mattingly June 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    This little guy is so totally adorable and you captured him with that background beautifully. You go fight the good fight for your images Mia. We all have to stand up some time. Carol

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you Carol.

      I’ve hired an attorney, we’ll see how this goes.

  8. Elijah Goodwin June 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Gorgeous! I’ve got to get out and put some time in at Bombay Hook NWR with these guys in August or September.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you Elijah, I hope you do get to Bombay Hook NWR and get some photographs of Avocets, I look forward to seeing them!

  9. Tammy Karr June 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Outstanding capture! Great background!!

  10. Laurence Butler June 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Very cool setting…and with the vibrant colors of a shirebird there in the savannah-esuqe grass, it’s almost unreal.
    Nice work!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Laurence, it almost looked unreal through my viewfinder too!

  11. Tami Vogel June 19, 2012 at 9:49 am

    You have such an eye for settings, Mia. You must’ve been a designer at some point? I’ve never seen one of these in the wild, what an amazing image…

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Tami, I have worked in graphics. You would enjoy seeing Avocets in the wild, they can be very graceful.

  12. Robert Mortensen (@Birding_Is_Fun) June 19, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Interesting to see the Avocet up on dryland. Beautiful image!

  13. Beverly Everson June 19, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Beautiful image! I love these birds!! Very sorry to hear about your images being stolen. Wishing you the very best!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mia McPherson June 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks Beverly, Avocets are lovely birds.

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