Portraits of an adult Black-billed Magpie

/, Birds, Black-billed Magpies, Davis County, Utah/Portraits of an adult Black-billed Magpie

Adult Black-billed Magpie close upAdult Black-billed Magpie close up – Nikon D810, f16, 1/160, ISO 800, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

It isn’t often that I am able to be so close to a Black-billed Magpie as I was yesterday morning on Antelope Island State Park but when I am that close I will take advantage of the situation. I only have a few portraits of an adult Black-billed Magpie and yesterday I was able to add several of them to my portfolio.

Some people find Black-billed Magpies to be nothing more than pests and annoyances. Not me, I think all members of the corvid family are fascinating, intelligent and fun to observe and photograph.

Portrait of an adult Black-billed MagpiePortrait of an adult Black-billed Magpie – Nikon D810, f16, 1/80, ISO 320, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This magpie was so close I felt I needed as much depth of field as possible and since the magpie was being cooperative I experimented with my ISO and aperture to get the sharpest images I could with as much detail as possible.

I will say that I don’t like passing up opportunities to take portraits of any bird or animal when I have the chance because portraits give us a chance to view the eyes closer and see more facial details than we can with full body images.

Life is good.



  1. Joan Carey January 29, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Wow, I think he is a beauty! Great photos.

  2. Utahbooklover January 28, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Wonderful portraits. Especially the first one — such a proud look, and intelligent.

  3. Molly Iris January 28, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Yes, the playing with ISO and aperture really paid off. I can feel the texture of her beak with my eyes!

  4. Patty Chadwick January 28, 2016 at 9:37 am

    I love these birds…find them elegant, beautiful, intelligent, amusing, frustrating, sassy and clever…which, as a”crow mother”, pretty much describes all corvids for me…these portraits really captured these qualities…

  5. Liz Cormack January 28, 2016 at 7:34 am


  6. Cindy January 28, 2016 at 8:25 am

    You can almost feel his softness, stroking his feathers in your mind. His beak of leather, a star in his eye. Thank you Mia.

  7. John Fox January 28, 2016 at 6:24 am

    Very nice shots! I’ve only seen the black billed a few times but see the yellow billed daily. I agree they are fun to observe.

  8. Bob McPherson January 28, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Beautiful photos Mia.

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