Juvenile Western Kingbird on a wireJuvenile Western Kingbird on a wire – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I don’t often have the opportunity to photograph juvenile Western Kingbirds but last week I did at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Box Elder County. There was a family group of Western Kingbirds near the road and some shrubs, some were very flighty but this young bird wasn’t and posed for several minutes on a strand of rusty barbed wire.

Western Kingbird juvenile on a barbed wire perchWestern Kingbird juvenile on a barbed wire perch – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

The juveniles colors look softer, more delicately colored and they certainly don’t look as tyrannical as the adults do!  Normally I prefer natural perches when photographing birds but kingbirds love to perch on wires, I am just glad this wire is aged and rustic looking.

They might look sweet now but before long they will inflict as much tyranny on their prey as the adults.



  1. eric c11 August 8, 2013 at 12:39 am

    very nice and cute this little bird
    thnaks mia =)))

  2. Dave Sparks August 6, 2013 at 3:00 am

    I love the rusty perch and the butter smooth BG.

  3. Elephant's Child August 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Such soft and subtle colouration. Good camoflague for its less than soft character? Frivolity aside, this is a gorgeous bird. Thank you.

  4. Cheryl Valdez August 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Great shot, Mia. The juveniles are really beautiful with the subtle coloring.

  5. Utahbooklover August 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Great images, Mia. We have a few adults thar frequent our area. Fun to watch them chase away other birds, even much bigger crows!

  6. M. Firpi August 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Ah!! So the Western has this subtle yellow colour as opposed to the Eastern! Great to know!!

  7. Fern Culhane August 5, 2013 at 7:13 am

    It’s interesting to me to note how quickly I ascribe qualities such as innocence and sweetness, vulnerability, etc. to these pictures. I don’t think it is just the label of “juvenile” in the title that shifts my perceptions…but imagine that it does play a role. Thanks for this opportunity for musing, Mia!

  8. Bob Bushell August 5, 2013 at 5:10 am

    Absolutely beautiful, great photographer.

  9. Sonja Ross August 5, 2013 at 4:14 am

    I’ll have to look to see how the adults behave, but these do look sweet!

Comments are closed.