Low angle Long-billed Curlew

Long-billed Curlew on the beach at Fort De SotoLong-billed Curlew on the beach at Fort De Soto – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Since winter has thus far decided to stay in more northern latitudes and higher elevations I decided to post an image of a Long-billed Curlew taken in southern, sub-tropical climes a few years ago. Maybe it will tick Winter off enough to show up in its frosty cloak and icy breath. We’ve only had snow twice and it is December??

A few weeks before I left Florida to move to Utah a Long-billed Curlew showed up at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach and stayed there for the entire nesting season which ended weeks after I had moved west. I had fun photographing the graceful shorebird before I moved.

When I photographed this female curlew I was flat on my stomach and a little lower than the bird, there were little mounds of out of focus sand between the bird and my lens and my selection of a shallow depth of field created the soft blur near the birds feet.  Because of my low angle and the birds elevation on the sand dune there is only sky in the background, the water of the Gulf of Mexico was below the sand dune.



  1. Kathie December 6, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Mia, I love this! i saw hundreds of curlews at the Salton Sea but none of my shots are as good as this! Well done! Love this species!

    • Mia McPherson December 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks Kathie, I bet the Salton Sea was amazing.

  2. Julie Brown December 5, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Nice angle to show how long that bill is! I wonder how the bird balances it? It must be very light.

    • Mia McPherson December 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Julie, I would guess that the bill is light weight other wise the curlews would tire easily and they sure don’t! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Dan Huber December 4, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Love this shot Mia. A very pretty bird.

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 6:02 am

      Thanks Dan, I think they are very pretty too.

  4. M. Firpi December 3, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    The curlew is a bird that I find fascinating!

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 6:01 am

      Thanks Maria, I find them fascinating too.

  5. Bryce Robinson December 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I love the way you exhibit the curlew in this photo. I can’t tell you how much I love this bird! Thanks for sharing Mia.

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 6:00 am

      Thank you Bryce, I love curlews and cant wait for their return in the spring. Their call mesmerizes me.

  6. Wally December 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I don’t know that Curlew, but I recognize that sand! Great shot and a good reminder for us all to practice laying down on the job more often! 🙂

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 5:59 am

      Wally, the Curlew was great, I believe it stayed at Fort De Soto until late September that year. I bet you do recognize that sand!

  7. Julie G. December 3, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I really like the low angle effect. Exceptional photograph of this beautiful long-billed bird! Fabulous detail.

  8. Tami December 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Mia, this is a wonderful photo of an odd looking bird. I always wonder how they walk around without running into things with those long bills…

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 5:52 am

      Tami, thanks much for your comment. Long-billed Curlews are unique and that long bill always fascinates me.

  9. Sherry in MT December 3, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Once again Mia, lovely picture and I’m impressed you could get laid down in the sand and not scare the bird off! We are with you time for SNOW darnit! It was in the 40s this weekend and we had rain – in December! Just wrong I say, just wrong.

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 5:51 am

      Sherry, we’ve been getting rain this week and it is supposed to rain today and tomorrow, it should be SNOW!!It is wrong.

      Thanks for your comment on this curlew image, it was a fun bird to photograph.

  10. Kelly December 3, 2012 at 7:27 am


    It’s not just the angle you captured here, it’s the light, colors and composition as well. You have such a wonderful eye for nature and are so talented behind the lens. Thanks for the share, now maybe I will try laying on my belly. 🙂

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 5:50 am

      Thanks Kelly! I crawled on my belly a lot when I lived in Florida.

  11. Bob Bushell December 3, 2012 at 6:46 am

    A beautiful bird and well done Mia.

    • Mia McPherson December 4, 2012 at 5:49 am

      Thank you Bob, Long-billed Curlews are fascinating birds.

  12. Scott (@NESASK) December 3, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Beautiful shot, Mia. I like the way you work at getting those low angles.

Comments are closed.