A Spotted Towhee male singing on its territoryA Spotted Towhee male singing on its territory

Yesterday was a delight in the West Desert because there were plentiful birds to photograph including this male Spotted Towhee singing on its territory. I think it had one tail feather that was about to fall out but I love this image anyway.

A Chipping Sparrow in breeding plumageA Chipping Sparrow in breeding plumage

The long trills of Chipping Sparrows seemed to be heard in every canyon and among the sagebrush. This one perched on an weathered old fence post to singing for the ladies.

A Say's Phoebe in soft morning lightA Say’s Phoebe in soft morning light

A Say’s Phoebe was a surprise as it perched on a rusty barb wire fence in the soft light of dawn. It didn’t stick around long but gave me great views of its lovely plumage.

Cassin's Finch on Utah JuniperCassin’s Finch on Utah Juniper

Another surprise was seeing a small flock of Cassin’s Finches flitting around and perching on the tops of Utah Junipers with mountains in the background. They weren’t close but I liked how this male Cassin’s Finch and the juniper seemed to glow in the light.

A Horned Lark in soft morning lightA Horned Lark in soft morning light

There were also plenty of Horned Larks singing and chasing each other around. This male sang on a boulder along side the road in the golden light.

Red-tailed Hawk near GrantsvilleRed-tailed Hawk near Grantsville

On the way home I was able to get a few images of an adult Red-tailed Hawk just after it lifted off from a power pole and some how I didn’t get the power lines crossing the hawk’s body in this frame. The Bird Photography Gods must have been smiling on me because usually the power lines ruin my images when I have opportunities like this.

I was smiling whether the Bird Photography Gods were smiling on me or not because I came home with a wonderful West Desert medley of birds.

Life is good.

All images were taken with my Nikon D810, 500mm VR lens with a 1.4x TC attached. I’ll try to get the techs put in later.


  1. Lois Bryan April 23, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    oh wow … love these … all are glorious … the colors in your Phoebe and Horned Lark images are sooo appealing!!!

  2. Utahbooklover April 22, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Enjoyed this west desert assortment. Nice images all but my favorite is the Cassin’s Fince on the Juniper.

  3. Patty Chadwick April 22, 2015 at 8:13 am

    These are WONDERFUL images…and so many of them. Whatva visual feat, Exciting!!!

  4. wendy chapman April 22, 2015 at 7:58 am

    A cornucopia of beautiful images. I love the small birds and you are spoiled for choice with this set.

  5. Lynn April 22, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Always beautiful photographs, Mia! I love seeing all these birds, especially the Horned Lark. He looks especially intense and I love his coloring.

  6. Nancy Collins April 22, 2015 at 6:00 am

    Love Mia! Especially the Say’s Phoebe!

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