Redhead Hen on the Bear River

Redhead hen at Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeRedhead hen at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I photographed this Redhead hen yesterday morning at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge as she floated on the Bear River. I saw a low temperature of 4°F (-15°C) on the refuge and big sections of the river were frozen over so the ducks I saw were all gathered where there was open water but none were as close as this Redhead hen.

I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes enjoy the settings of my images as much as I do my subject and in the case of these two images I find the water just as appealing as the duck itself. The vegetation reflected on the water in this image compliment the warmer tones of the duck’s plumage and contrasts nicely with the icy blue of the river.

Hen Redhead on the Bear RiverHen Redhead on the Bear River – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

In this image far less of the vegetation on the bank of the Bear River shows in the reflection on the water but the clear blue sky overhead made the river appear a crisp, vivid blue with swirls caused by the fluid movement of the river.

Redheads are medium sized diving ducks with rounded heads and moderately large bills. Like most duck species the female Redheads are much drabber than the males.

On a side note, I saw and photographed two late migrating Long-billed Curlews yesterday on the south side of the auto tour loop on the refuge. I have seen Long-billed Curlews this late before at Farmington Bay WMA but I hope the curlews leave very soon because they would probably die from exposure and starvation if they don’t migrate.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover December 2, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Nice images. It has been so cold I am surprised the curlews are still around.

  2. Elephant's Child December 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    You live in, and share some beautiful things. Thank you.

  3. Patty Chadwick December 2, 2015 at 10:16 am

    That is one suoer cute duck! She sure does look like she’s smiling….

  4. Molly Iris December 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

    She is beautiful. Her gentle face gives me the perception that she is smiling!

  5. Bob Mcpherson December 2, 2015 at 5:20 am

    Beautiful images Mia. Waterfowl are so interesting.

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