Pumpkin Patch Birds – Red-winged Blackbirds and White-crowned Sparrows

/, Davis County, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Red-winged Blackbirds, Utah, White-crowned Sparrows/Pumpkin Patch Birds – Red-winged Blackbirds and White-crowned Sparrows

Adult White-crowned Sparrow with a Punkin Patch backgroundAdult White-crowned Sparrow with a Pumpkin Patch background – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited, called in or set up

This is my fourth fall in Utah and I love the autumn colors I see here especially compared to the relatively bland fall colors of Florida where I lived for five years.

There is a rather large Pumpkin Patch near the road going to the Nature Center at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area where I like to photograph birds. They have a straw maze and all kinds of activities for children too. Along the road they grow tall sunflowers and corn and that usually keeps the pumpkins hidden from view but there is a narrow window of time after the frost nips the leaves of the sunflowers when they dry up and fall off when the bright oranges of the pumpkins can be seen through them. I’ve waited four autumns to get photos like these with birds and the oranges of the pumpkins in the background.

Red-winged Blackbird with a Punkin Patch backgroundRed-winged Blackbird with a Pumpkin Patch background – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 800, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited, called in or set up

Today there were White-crowned Sparrows (first image) and flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds (above) feeding on the seeds of the sunflowers with the pumpkin patch in the background!

I’m very excited to have finally gotten images that I had hoped to take for 4 years. I just had to share these.



  1. Tami Vogel October 29, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    What a fun way to celebrate fall, Mia! I love the subtle colors mixing in the background.

  2. Holly October 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

    What stunning colors! The color on the wing of the red wing blackbird matches the background almost perfectly!

  3. Julie Brown October 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I love that background color, and the colors of the birds are so complementary.

  4. Humming Bird Lover October 27, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Hi! Love to look at your birds! They look like they could hop out and walk around my desk. Ha ha

    perfect time of the year for pumpkin colors. Keep up the great pictures.

  5. Dave Sparks October 27, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I found a good deal on pumpkin seeds on the web, but I don’t think Betty is going to let me plant them in the yard. Guess I will need to find another strategy for getting photos with marvelous backgrounds like those in this post. The photos were worth waiting four years to capture.

    • Mia McPherson November 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Dave, I’m not sure I’d want a pumpkin patch in my yard either but finding a patch locally might be a great option!

  6. AzStu October 27, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Wonderful closeups. Since living here, I have always associate White Crowned Sparrows with Christmas as they seem to be the first bird I will see here on Christmas morning. I love the colors ( and colours) in these shots

    • Mia McPherson November 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks Stu, it must be nice to have the White-crowned Sparrows be the first bird you see on Christmas!

  7. Prairie Birder October 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    The colors are beautiful, Mia, and the orange in the background brings out the orange in the blackbird!

    • Mia McPherson November 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you Charlotte, I liked how the background & oranges in the blackbird compliment each other too.

  8. judy watson October 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm


  9. M. Firpi October 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    That orange glow works great and the red-winged black bird is awesome!

  10. Carol Mattingly October 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I know what you mean when you want to take photos of something but it doesn’t present itself the way you want. I love the backgrounds of these images. Beautiful photos. Carol

    • Mia McPherson November 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Carol, I love the vibrant color in the background.

  11. Rohrerbot October 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I’m glad you did share them:) They are beautiful……love the orangeish blur:)

  12. Bob Bushell October 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Beautiful, thank you for the last 4 years trying.

    • Mia McPherson November 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you for commenting Bob!

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