An Adult Sage Thrasher with Prey on Public Land

/, Sage Thrashers, Stansbury Mountains, Tooele County, Utah, West Desert/An Adult Sage Thrasher with Prey on Public Land

A Sage Thrasher and its preyA Sage Thrasher and its prey – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/320, ISO 500, -0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

I have to admit that I am having a hard time focusing lately in part due to the situation at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and because of the other attempts to grab public land in the West. We need to keep America’s public lands in public hands. The state of Utah couldn’t afford one year of fire fighting efforts if it was to take public lands from us so they would sell off public lands to the highest bidders.

I photograph a lot on public lands in the West Desert and I don’t want to be restricted from accessing those areas, I don’t want the rest of the people of this country being restricted from using those lands either.

This adult Sage Thrasher with prey was photographed on public lands in Tooele County in one of the canyons of the Stansbury Mountains last July. I was able to pull my Jeep off to the side of the gravel road and photograph from my “mobile blind” this adult as it found prey for one of its young without disturbing it.

An adult Sage Thrasher and a GrasshopperAn adult Sage Thrasher and a Grasshopper – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/250, ISO 500, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

The Stansbury Mountain range contains the Deseret Peak Wilderness, is part of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands and who knows what would happen if the state of Utah took control of it. People use this area for leased grazing cattle, recreation, hiking, mountain biking, camping, bird watching, wildlife viewing and photography and more.  We need to do everything we can to keep this land in public hands to protect and preserve it for the wildlife in the area and for future generations.

Life is good.



  1. Larry Jordan January 14, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Beautiful images Mia! Love that Sage Thrasher song too! As for the Malheur fiasco, and what this movement really wants to do, here is a link to a great article Ingrid sent me. If they had their way, there would be no land left for the general public to enjoy!

  2. Utahbooklover January 14, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Nice images. Every Utah congressman and even Gov. Herbert are pushing for “return of the public lands” to state control. We need to vote these narrow minded people out of office. Everyone please vote.

  3. Elephant's Child January 14, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    We ALL need public land. And we need them to stay public.

  4. Ilze Long January 14, 2016 at 10:05 am


  5. Patty Chadwick January 14, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Two special images, but second is definitely my favorite. Love the harmonious colors of bird, wood and background, the punch of color in the golden eye, and the solidness of the perch….lots going on, all beautiful!

  6. Bob Mcpherson January 14, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Sorry, make that Malheur, not Masher. Spell Check givin me a fit this morn.

    • Mia McPherson January 14, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Bobby, I quite often use speech to text and some of the crazy words that happen because of that are hysterical!

      I hope this situation ends very soon.

  7. Bob Mcpherson January 14, 2016 at 6:57 am

    Beautiful photos Mia.
    Pray the situation at Masher is resolved soon. Cant hardly believe the Government is just sitting by.

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