An Assortment of Birds from Bear River National Wildlife Refuge This Week

A Sandhill Crane right after the sunriseA Sandhill Crane right after the sunrise – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Yesterday I posted a juvenile Wilson’s Phalarope and today I am posting an assortment of others birds I photographed the same day at Bear River National Wildlife Refuge.  The first bird I focused on that morning was a lovely Sandhill Crane I found on the way to the auto tour route. It was with two other cranes but this one turned around and looked at me whereas the other two never did.

An American White Pelican in a clear July skyAn American White Pelican in a clear July sky – Nikon D810, f8, 1/2500, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I am always delighted when I can photograph American White Pelicans in flight against a clear blue sky because their white and black plumage stands out so well.  I was parked trying to photograph an ibis when this one flew past.

Juvenile drake Northern Pintail in eclipse plumage?Juvenile drake Northern Pintail in eclipse plumage? – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I was surprised to find a lone Northern Pintail associating with a small flock of mallards so I couldn’t resist photographing it. I believe this is a juvenile drake but would appreciate confirmation if anyone knows for sure. The bill isn’t right for a female but the plumage isn’t quite right for a male in eclipse plumage either.

An adult Mourning Dove on barbed wireAn adult Mourning Dove on barbed wire – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

On my way out of the refuge I found a couple of Mourning Doves on a fence line and while most of them flew off this one hung around and gave me the opportunity to photograph it perched on a strand rusty barbed wire. They might be common but I think they are quite lovely!

Life is good at the Bear River National Wildlife Refuge!



  1. Elephant's Child July 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    What a wonderful day.
    Echoing Patty though. Common is a frightening word. We tend to dismiss the common, not appreciate its beauty, and too often make the common rare. Or worse.

  2. Deedee OBrien July 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    You are right. Life is really good in the refuge! Love these images. TY.

  3. Wally July 26, 2015 at 11:10 am

    For a minute there, I thought you were posting from Florida! Then I saw that Pintail. (I think your right about it being a male in transition.)
    Really wonderful photographs, all!

  4. Patty Chadwick July 26, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Funny…I like them all, but my favorite is the most “common”, the Mourning dove…they are such gentle-looking birds (except for our “Mean Mourning dove…a real bully). Whenever I hear the word “common”, I cringe because it makes me think of the Passenger pIgeon and what happened to that “common” bird…and reminds me how fast we are losing once common species of birds, plants and other animals….

  5. Stu July 26, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Great Photos Mia. I am biased , but nice to see a Mourning Dove photo too.

  6. Roger Burnard July 26, 2015 at 8:48 am

    You “nailed every shot.” Great job, as always… Love the dove image…. ;-)))

  7. Eileen July 26, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Wonderful variety and photos, Mia! I love the crane and the pelican! Happy Sunday!

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