Mourning Dove in the Stansbury Mountains and a few bonus Short-Eared Owls

/, James W Fitzgerald WMA, Mourning Doves, Stansbury Mountains, Tooele County, Utah, West Desert/Mourning Dove in the Stansbury Mountains and a few bonus Short-Eared Owls

A Mourning Dove perched on an old fence postA Mourning Dove perched on an old fence post – Nikon D810, f9, 1/500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

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.

A Mourning Dove in the Stansbury MountainsA Mourning Dove in the Stansbury Mountains – Nikon D810, f8, 1/640, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

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.

A Mourning Dove in morning lightA Mourning Dove in morning light – Nikon D810, f9, 1/500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

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 Tooele County Short-eared OwlA Tooele County Short-eared Owl – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

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.

Mia

8 Comments

  1. Utahbooklover May 23, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Enjoyable series. I’ve noticed the doves around here (~12) are the Eurasian variety.

  2. Elephant's Child May 22, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Oooh and ahhh. All very, very beautiful. Thank you.

  3. Humming Bird Lover May 22, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Hi!

    Here again I meant Short eared Owl! Oh well I am a old lady! Ha ha

  4. Humming Bird Lover May 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Hi! Love the dove photo’s! I have only seen and talked to one or two for almost a year now!? It seems not normal at all! What pretty shot eared Owl!
    Have a spec ial day now!

  5. Patty Chadwick May 22, 2015 at 10:40 am

    We haven’t seen as many Morning Doves here, either…we’ve always had quite a few scratching around under one of our hanging feeders…always several pairs and “the mean Morning Dove”, a solitary “bully” bird, who liked to chase others away. This Spring we’ve only seen one so far…don’t hear the usual cooing…don’t know if they’re late…or if there’s some other reason. We had an unusually long, snowy winter…

  6. Neil Rossmiller May 22, 2015 at 9:55 am

    I too am worried about the Morning Doves, Mia. I’ve witnessed a severe decline of their numbers here for several years and the meteoric rise in the Eurasian Collared Doves numbers. This year gives me hope, however. There are more Morning Doves around these parts of Northern Utah than I have experienced in years. It’s not unusual to see several at our feeders at any given time. Gives me hope that they are starting to hold their own against the invasion. Great images as usual.

  7. Patty Chadwick May 22, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Boy! Mia–you sire have a good eye for beautiful shots! I especially love the first one of the dove, the body position, the soft, subtle colors, the beauty of the weathered wooden post and of course, the compsition …The short ear, perched so precariously on the top of that narrow metal post is lije the cherry on top os a hot fudge sundae!!!

  8. Lois Bryan May 22, 2015 at 7:01 am

    always a joy to visit with you and your lovely wildlife images in the mornings … beautiful, as always!!!

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