What Utah birds do when the heat is on…

/, Birds, Burrowing Owls, Chukars, Utah/What Utah birds do when the heat is on…

Adult Chukar with chicks on the shoreline of the Great Salt LakeAdult Chukar with chicks on the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake

It is hot, about 98 degrees where I live in Utah right now. It was 82 degrees when I woke up this morning and normally the morning temps are about 20 – 25 degrees cooler than that. Despite the high temps and the smell of smoke in the air that has been burning my eyes, I headed out to Antelope Island this morning to see if there were any birds to photograph.

I still can’t get used to seeing Chukars at the shore of the Great Salt Lake even though I have seen it a few times now. Last week I saw some chicks on the rocks near the marina and it appeared that they were eating brine flies. Today this adult Chukar and its chicks were very close to the salty water of the lake when I photographed them. These chicks are getting big but I saw some just a few days ago that looked like they had just hatched they were so small.  I don’t know if the birds think the water of the Great Salt Lake looks refreshing but on a hot day like today I sure do!

Burrowing Owl flapping wingsBurrowing Owl flapping wings

This adult Burrowing Owl looks like it is flapping its wings to stay cool since Nature’s AC decided to quit working here in Utah.  This adult has several chicks but they have kept themselves hidden fairly well. I wonder if they are staying in the cool, dark burrow.

The Deer Flies were out in force today, even just stepping outside of the vehicle caused them to swarm around and bite me. Nasty bugs! I wasn’t bothered by the biting gnats (no-see-ums), perhaps the heat has cooked their tiny blood-sucking brains and they have all expired for this season. I guess it is easy to tell I really do not like them.

I’ve been pretty tired lately which is probably because of getting up BEFORE o’dark hundred hours to get to shooting locations before the sun rises at one minute after o’dark hundred. I even cursed at my cell phone alarm this morning. There are more hours of daylight right now than the rest of the year so why do I still feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?

I’ve been working on a long post which will be published tomorrow morning. A news article I read last week made me feel like I was sitting on a pile of sand spurs so I decided to voice my opinion. I probably won’t win any popularity contest because of my opinions about the topic but I sure felt good writing it.



  1. Tammy Karr June 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Amazing photos Mia! Love the Burrowing Owl; it looks like he’s giving you a wink! We visited the midwest last week and its was 95+; hotter than here in Florida! Spending the day in that heat sure does zap up your energy!

    • Mia McPherson June 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks as always for your comment Tammy. I was tickled to get close to a Burrowing Owl again, it had been awhile. This heat isn’t letting up, I wish we could get some rain.

  2. Laurence Butler June 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Brilliant shots Mia. It seems to be sweltering all over the country. We’re pushing 109 before noon time here–ick!

    I’m looking forward to reading this upcoming post.
    Stay cool : )

    • Mia McPherson June 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      109… I don’t think I have been in those temps since I lived in AZ! Thanks for your comment on this post and let me know what you think of the one I published today.

  3. Syl June 24, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    who says birds aren’t smart?? Great photos and the heat is on here in Colorado..our little birds have been playing in the bird bath and sprinklers today..Thanks so very much for sharing..

    • Mia McPherson June 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Syl, stay safe in CO, I keep up with the wildfires there because I used to live there and still have many friends in Colorado.

      It is still hot here and chances are we will have dry thunderstorms today, we need rain, not lightning.

      Thanks for commenting on this post and the photos.

  4. Nicole MacP June 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Great pics, I LOVE that first one!

    • Mia McPherson June 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      Thanks Nicole, your comments are much appreciated.

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