Chukars Above the Great Salt Lake

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A Chukar with the Great Salt LakeA Chukar with the Great Salt Lake – Nikon D810, f8, 1/640, ISO 250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Both of these Chukars above the Great Salt Lake were photographed on the east side of Antelope Island State Park this month. The photo of the Chukar above was taken yesterday with clear skies and bright sunlight lighting up the lake in the background. It seemed that the Chukar was just warming up in the sunlight. The tans tones in the background is the exposed lake bed, or mud flats, caused by the rapidly receding water levels of the lake.

Wind blown ChukarWind blown Chukar – Nikon D810, f10, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This Chukar photo was taken in early March not to far away from where the first image was taken. The skies were clear and the sun was shining brightly. The blue in the background is water near the shore of the lake and the tan is the exposed lake bed. There are areas where there are acres and acres of the exposed mudflats due to our drought and excessive water consumption from the rivers that feed the lake.

When I first visited Utah in 2008 to photograph on Antelope Island if I had photographed these Chukars in the exact same locations both backgrounds would have been entirely blue because the lake was much higher back then. The lake is drying up and we need to find a way to save it.



  1. Bill Kleinfelder March 21, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Great work Mia! Your posts are always interesting and pleasing to the eyes.

  2. Elephant's Child March 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I always love to see Chukars.
    Sadly, we too need (desperately) to learn to better manage that precious resource.

  3. Jane Shipp March 20, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Beautiful photos of a bird that I have never seen here in Montana (Dillon). It’s scary to see how drought is affecting the region.

  4. Patty Chadwick March 20, 2016 at 8:38 am

    So sad to hear about the condition of the lake…it wasn’t named THE GREAT SALT LAKE for no reason….It truly was great…let’s Make Salt Lake Great Again….to paraphrase a wannabee.

  5. Bob mcpherson March 20, 2016 at 6:12 am

    Beautiful photos, Mia. Handsome birds.

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