Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and Beyond

/, Birds, Box Elder County, Rough-legged Hawks, Utah/Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and Beyond

A Wintry View of Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeA Wintry View of Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – HTC One M8 cell phone

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is a winter wonderland right now and although it is very quiet it is still teeming with life. I can’t really express how much this refuge means to me in words so I try to do it with my images throughout the year. Each season has its own beauty on the refuge, each one is a visual delight.

Yesterday while on the auto tour route I couldn’t help but think of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the hostile, flag-waving, extremist, constitutionally-challenged, home grown jihadists that are occupying and destroying a national treasure in eastern Oregon. I’ve seen the videos of them tearing out the fences and covering up the refuge signs with tarps. I couldn’t help but think of the damage they are doing.

It didn’t ruin my trip to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge but it sure did make me realize once again that we need to fight to keep public land public. We need to come together across party lines and vote out the politicians who are attempting to take over our public lands.

I hope that the siege of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is over soon and that all of the illegal occupiers are tried then sentenced to prison where they belong. Justice needs to be served.

A Rough-legged Hawk on Road PatrolA Rough-legged Hawk on Road Patrol – Nikon D810, f9, 1/500, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

Yesterday a frost covered Rough-legged Hawk was perched on a one-way road sign on the north side of the auto tour loop, it was about 8°F and the hawk was sticky. For awhile the Rough-legged Hawk just looked around the marsh and I could see the sunlight sparking on the bits of frost on its plumage. It was almost as if this hawk was pointing the way down the road.

I’m so glad we have refuges where sights like this can been seen, photographed and enjoyed by all.



  1. Deena Caniff January 13, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    Dear Mia; Where are those 4 feathers from that are sticking out toward the right wing?
    Fantastic photos by the way. You are a great photographer. Please keep up the good work so we can enjoy our
    wonderful birds together.

    • Mia McPherson January 14, 2016 at 7:16 am

      Deena, those four feathers are part of the tail feathers of the hawk. Thank you much for your kind words.

  2. Utahbooklover January 13, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Great image of the hawk. Agree completely with your post and all the comments.

    • Mia McPherson January 14, 2016 at 7:17 am

      Thanks Utahbooklover!

  3. Elephant's Child January 13, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    How I wish that more people realised that it isn’t and shouldn’t be ‘all about us’. The land and the other inhabitants are MUCH more important than our wants. And usually more important than our needs too.
    Love that hawk.
    And here on another sweaty start to a scorching hot day, this cool beauty is balm for my soul.
    Thank you.

    • Patty Chadwick January 13, 2016 at 1:01 pm

      How I wish I could send you some soft, gentle, cooling bteezes….

      • Patty Chadwick January 13, 2016 at 1:02 pm

        I meant BREEZES–evil iPad had other ideas…phooey!!!

        • Elephant's Child January 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm

          Soft, gentle bteezes or breezes would be very welcome. Tomorrow we are expecting scorching winds.

          • Mia McPherson January 14, 2016 at 7:18 am

            I wish I could send you some cool breezes too EC!

  4. Jim Miller January 13, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Mia, I work as a docent at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, where you have a number of fans on staff. It was there I was introduced to your website via another docent, and I enjoy it immensely. Let us know if you’re ever down around Tucson. We’d love to show you around the Museum.

    • Patty Chadwick January 13, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      What’s the name of that pass just outside of town where the sunsets are so amazing?

      • Jim Miller January 13, 2016 at 5:17 pm

        Gates Pass, although the sunsets in Tucson are usually pretty spectacular–and unlike those in L.A., they’re not provided by Dow Chemical.

    • Mia McPherson January 14, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Thank you so much Jim, I am honored that you all like my work!

      If I ever make it back to AZ I will be sure to let you know.

  5. Patty Chadwick January 13, 2016 at 8:47 am

    What a wonderful way to start the day! Love the landscape and big sky and peaceful sense of infinity. Beautiful image of the underwing shot of the Roughie…colors are magnificent. Also like picure, below, of hawk on speed limit sign.

  6. Larry Muench January 13, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Hi Mia,

    Not sure if this is of any interest to you but thought I’d let you know just in case. At the ranch yesterday Brittany said that there was a varied thrush by the spring so I went down. Another lady said it was a female and was there this same time last year. Evidently it is a fairly infrequent visitor so just thought I’d let you know. It is a beautiful bird but very difficult to photograph!

    Yes, life is good! I continue to enjoy your wonderful blog. Thanks

    • Mia McPherson January 14, 2016 at 7:20 am

      Larry, thanks for the heads up on the Varied Thrush. I might be able to get out to see it before it leaves if there is good light one day soon.

  7. Bob Mcpherson January 13, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Beautiful photos Mia. I am in awe of your photography.
    The trespassers won’t give up until they feel the sting of law enforcement. They are numb to our protests of them getting by with this for so

    • Mia McPherson January 14, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Thank you Bobby.

      Maybe the FBI and Law Enforcement Officers are doing what is best by waiting those scumbags out, I don’t know.

  8. Jim Miller January 13, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Agree completely about the Oregon trespassers. They haven’t even expressed any articulate demands or complaints, but they evidently feel they have a right to graze cattle anywhere. I’ve seen the damage cows can do, and want no part of them being on reserve property. The protesters have been dismissed as Y’all Queda or Yokel Haram, but their message is a protest supporting a lifestyle that often takes no responsibility for the land or the animals who live there.

    • Mia McPherson January 13, 2016 at 6:53 am

      I agree with you 100% Jim!

      I also think it is time for this “stand off” to end.

Comments are closed.