Long-billed Curlew calling in flight

/, Birds, Long-billed Curlews, Utah/Long-billed Curlew calling in flight

A Long-billed Curlew calling in flightA Long-billed Curlew calling in flight – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/3200, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I spent a few hours on Antelope Island State Park yesterday morning and Long-billed Curlews were the birds of the day for me. There were more of them on the island or flying overhead than there were last week at this time and there are still more of them migrating to Utah or through it. Long-billed Curlews are the largest shorebirds in North America and they are birds that delight me visually and audibly because of their elegant shape and their haunting calls.

It was this curlew’s flight call that drew my attention away from the black-billed Magpie in my viewfinder and when I spotted it I aimed my lens at the curlew as it flew past then hoped I had locked onto the bird and fired. This is a shot I have been hoping to get of a Long-billed Curlew calling in flight showing the cinnamon colored plumage under the wing. The complimentary colored background is Buffalo Point in the distance softened by the bokeh of my lens.

Long-billed Curlews will nest on the island in the grasses soon but before then I look forward to watching their courtship displays both on the ground and in the air.

Life is good.




  1. Kim April 5, 2015 at 4:05 am

    Magical shot Mia

  2. Dennis March 31, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Beautiful photograph, Mia! I believe I saw this LBCU in San Blas last month having a shrimp dinner. Glad they are back.

  3. Elephant's Child March 31, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Stunning. Monochromatic magic.

  4. Susan Stone March 31, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Just gorgeous! Hope I will get to see these birds one day.

  5. Cathryn Collis March 31, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Every primary and secondary feather clear and beautiful. The photography gods were with you on this one Mia. It is perfect.

  6. Patty Chadwick March 31, 2015 at 7:57 am

    What an amazing shot!!! Incredible!!! The detail is so crisp and clear it makes me feel as if I’m not only there, but flying right along side the bird, hearing its calls myself…love it!

  7. Larry Jordan March 31, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Awesome shot Mia! I’ve been seeing Long-billed Curlews in several places in northern California lately but can only dream about getting a shot like that 😉

  8. Dave Sparks March 31, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Wow! great shot. I love the positions of the wings, the calling posture, and the amazing background.

  9. Bev Danis March 31, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Love it!!!!

Comments are closed.