November and December seem to be good months to see flocks of birds and American Bison together on Antelope Island State Park. Last year in early December I photographed this American Bison while a flock of European Starlings flew in to settle on its back, there was a small herd of bison at the top of a hill with a stormy looking sky behind it to the north and I couldn’t resist the dramatic setting.
The birds land on the bison’s back for warmth on cold days and they can peck insects off of the bison’s fur too. Mostly the bison ignore the birds.
Earlier this month I was out on Antelope Island again looking for birds and on the south end of the island I came across a herd of bison with large flocks of birds, European Starlings and a few Red-winged Blackbirds, flying past the bison or landing on them for a few brief seconds before they flew away again. The light wasn’t as dramatic that day as it was in the top picture but I always find flocks birds and bison appealing so I had to stop my Jeep and take some photos. I wasn’t the only one, there were about four other vehicles stopped to watch the birds and American Bison.
When I lived in Florida about the only place I could photograph American Bison was in a zoo and I dreamed of taking images like these from afar. I didn’t know then that I would move to Utah and that I would be able to photograph American Bison in the wild nearly any day of the week.
Life is good.