The West Desert was beckoning yesterday, a bit of sunshine, a touch of new snow on the tops of the Stansbury Mountains and after all the cloudy skies we have had here who could resist getting out to soak it all in before the next storm front arrives? Not me.
I saw that the Red-tailed Hawks have at least three chicks in their nest which excites me and that the slopes have greened up from all the rain we have had.
When I spotted this Mourning Dove perched on an old fence post in the morning light I couldn’t resist photographing it.
The greenish-grays of the junipers and sagebrush in the background against the warmer tones of the dove’s plumage delighted me and for a change the dove didn’t fly off immediately when I focused on it through my viewfinder. It even preened and fluffed up.
Mourning Doves are native to North America with soothing “cooaHOO coo coo” call they can be found in every state of the U.S. and parts of Mexico and Canada. There are times I worry about our native doves because of the invasion of the non-native Eurasian Collared Doves which are larger and more aggressive. I guess we will all have to see how that plays out.
A nice bonus surprise yesterday was finding a few Short-eared Owls near the James W Fitzgerald WMA in Tooele County. There was one female and at least 3 males in the area not far from the road, there may have been one more male but after turning around and backtracking to get better light I can’t be certain that it wasn’t one of the males I had seen a few minutes earlier.
It has been a while; too long in my opinion, since I have seen Short-eared Owls here in Utah. This photo isn’t great but I loved seeing this female Short-eared yesterday perched on a post close to the road.
Life is good.