It isn’t often that I am able to take a Black-billed Magpie portrait so when a magpie flies in close enough to me I will jump at the opportunity.
A bit of background on this image… I was photographing other birds on Antelope Island State Park when this Black-billed Magpie flew in and landed on a sagebrush very close to the stopped vehicle I was sitting in and using as a mobile blind. I knew the magpie wouldn’t stay long so I very quickly adjusted my settings and hoped that I would have enough depth of field to get the whole head and wing of the magpie relatively sharp. I probably should have used f18 instead of f13 because I can see a drop off of sharpness in the wing but I don’t mind that too much.
I liked that the magpie opened its bill, called and showed a tiny strand of spit near the base of the bill. Out of all the magpie images I have taken I believe this is the only one I have taken that has saliva in it. I did some research and found out that some birds do have salivary glands which I guess I never paid attention to until I took this portrait.
Life is good. Birds are fascinating.