Chukar on Antelope IslandChukar on Antelope Island

It was a busy week and I did take tons of images from Antelope Island, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Box Elder County and yesterday in Tooele County. On Antelope Island the Chukars were up calling on the rocks or foraging in the grasses near Sagebrush. This one perched on a rock that had water in the background that was a brilliant blue.

California GullCalifornia Gull

After some much needed rain there were a few puddles in areas of the island and this California Gull was taking full advantage of having fresh water available for a bath. In my opinion that is a pretty handsome looking bird with its head held tall and its wings spread.

Yellow-headed BlackbirdYellow-headed Blackbird

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge was hopping with activity, the male Red-winged and Yellow-headed Blackbirds seemed to be calling all over the auto tour route. The wind was blowing while this male was perched on the Phragmites stalk, it was like trying to photograph a bird on a long, thin spring the way it bounced around in the wind. I dumped quite a few images into my delete bin because of that wind & less than sharp images.

Clark's GrebeClark’s Grebe

Clark’s Grebes were also a highlight, who couldn’t appreciate these striking Grebes with their black and white plumage, cherry red eyes, sharp bill, curvy neck and black cap? I sure enjoy watching and photographing them especially during this time of the year when they are defending their territories. One never knows when the action might start!

Eastern KingbirdEastern Kingbird

I was tickled to see both Western and Eastern Kingbirds at the refuge, their chattering makes me want to giggle. I couldn’t tell what this Eastern Kingbird was chattering at, maybe there was another bird outside of my field of view. At any rate, I think that both kingbird species are dapper looking birds.

Forster's TernForster’s Tern

Forster’s Terns were making their presence on the refuge known as they cruised over the fresh water impoundment in search of prey and making spectacular dives when they located it. With a black cap and black eyes it can be a challenge to get a catch light in their eyes and in this frame I was delighted to have such great light.

Lark SparrowLark Sparrow

Tooele County offered fine feathered friends too, like this handsome Lark Sparrow perched on rusty old barbed wire. Normally I prefer natural perches but there is something about rusty barbed wire that appeals to me.

Mourning DoveMourning Dove

It seem to me that the Mourning Dove population has blossomed this spring, I am seeing them in high numbers in places I normally don’t see many. This dove was perching along side a road on a well weathered fence post in the early morning light.

These are but a few of the birds I photographed this week in various Utah locations and all of them made great subjects. A Potpourri of Birds!



  1. Eileen May 29, 2013 at 2:27 am

    Great collection of birds and photos. They are all beautiful shots!

  2. Mia McPherson May 27, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Thank you all!

    Larry, we did have to angle the pickup to get the nice background in the Chukar image, fortunately the Chukar was cooperative and didn’t hop off the rock before we could get lined up. I’m honored that you think so highly of my work Larry, the birds are truly the stars.

  3. Julie Brown May 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    A fine collection from your week. I enjoyed looking at every one of these images, Mia. But then, I always do!

  4. Prairie Birder May 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Absolutely stunning photographs, Mia! They are all so great I can’t pick a favorite!

  5. eric c11 May 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    hoo, it s a big succes this serie, with a great quality on each picture,
    it s an excelent job mia, bravo ☺

  6. Matthew Sim May 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Nice series! Some nice shots, all of them are very sharp and have nice detail

  7. Utahbooklover May 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    Nice collection Mia. Your photos and comments inspired me to finally do the complete auto-tour at the Bear River Bird Refuge this afternoon. I was amazed at the number of birds and the great variety too. Anyone near Brigham City should take the time for this wonderful experience.

  8. Sam Brunson May 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Great pictures!

  9. Sherry in MT May 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Wow what a week!!! The mourning doves are crazy here this year too! The grebes are still a favorite of mine though, those red eyes are just haunting.

  10. Bob Bushell May 25, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Oh what a view you are having, all birds, but beautiful with it.

  11. Larry Jordan May 25, 2013 at 7:33 am

    As I began reading this post I was impressed with way the bokeh on the Chukar image really brought out the color in its face, and then you mentioned it. I find it difficult sometimes to position myself to get such great background colors in a shot unless I know that a bird is going to remain stationary long enough for me to get the right angle. Did you have to position yourself for that shot or was it serendipity?

    The Western Gull is very handsome but When I scrolled down to the Yellow-headed Blackbird I was blown away 😉 That pose with his breast feathers ruffled like that and the detail is just incredible Mia.

    Clark’s Grebes are one of my favorite birds but it is difficult to get the right camera settings to see the feather detail in that stark black and white contrast of their heads. In your image, I can see every single feather, not only on its curvy neck but sticking up on that distinctive black crown. Wow!

    The Kingbird and the Tern, a couple more masterpieces of black and white contrast, and you’re right, the catch light in the Forster’s Tern’s eye makes that image. Black eyes simply get lost in a bird with a black head without it.

    I’ve always thought that Lark Sparrows, with that distinctive black, brown, white and beige facial pattern were a very handsome bird. The rusty barbed wire really does enhance those colors. And finally, the beautiful colors of the Mourning Dove enhanced by the perfect bokeh.

    It is difficult for me to convey how incredible your bird photography is to other people, so I just tell them they have to see it to believe it. Your images always inspire me to become a better photographer Mia. I could never say that this is some of your best work because your entire body of work is simply extraordinary but I love this post!

  12. Beverly Everson May 25, 2013 at 7:16 am

    They are all beautiful and beautifully captured, Mia!

  13. John Randall May 25, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Wonderful portraits Mia ! The barbed wire where it twists , reminds me of the bird’s feet wrapped upon the wire. Maybe that’s why it appeals to you ( and to me) . The repeating shapes in a composition can bring a piece together. Thanks.

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