Looking For Peregrine Falcons On The Shore Of The Great Salt Lake

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Immature Peregrine Falcon near the shore of the Great Salt LakeImmature Peregrine Falcon near the shore of the Great Salt Lake – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/320, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

This time of the year I start looking for Peregrine Falcons to show up near the shoreline of the Great Salt Lake because of the high numbers of ducks that are usually there.

This year seems a bit different though because the lake is at an all time low and the shoreline is different than it used to be and in some places the shoreline is so far out that even with my keen eyes I can’t see it. I was out there this week and I saw maybe three to five ducks total near the second bridge which I thought was almost spooky but maybe the ducks heard the election results and headed to Canada.

Seriously, I am not seeing ducks out on the lake in  the high numbers I used to, at least when I have been there, maybe the numbers are high other days. Or maybe we need to ask the question “Where did the ducks go?”. (Video from the Utah Rivers Council)

I also look for Prairie Falcons along the causeway but I have only spotted one this fall. With the ducks being further away from the shoreline it is going to be harder to see and photograph both falcon species along the shore of the lake. We need more water to flow into the Great Salt Lake and the marshes around it but it seems some politicians would rather kill the lake by building dams on the Bear River.

I have seen a few Peregrine Falcons along the causeway this year but they have been too far away to photograph. I found the Peregrine Falcon in the image above last year along the causeway to Antelope Island and it was probably the same immature falcon I had found perched on a tumbleweed a few days before this image was taken.

Life is good.



  1. Elephant's Child November 11, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Beautiful image – and echoing Glen’s final paragraph.

  2. Utahbooklover November 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Nice image of the speedy falcon. The diminishing Salt Lake is loosing its greatness!
    For those who may have missed it, many Americans were thinking of leaving the USA:

    SAN FRANCISCO — Americans really did crash the Canadian immigration site Tuesday night as polls closed on the West coast and the first results indicated Donald Trump would be president.

    There were 200,000 users on Canada’s immigration website around 11 p.m. EDT on Tuesday when it began to experience difficulties, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Of those, 100,000 were from U.S. internet addresses.

  3. Bob McPherson November 11, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Beautiful image, Mia.

  4. Glen Fox November 11, 2016 at 6:16 am

    I would have called this individual an adult based on its yellow cere and the yellow orbital skin around the eye. In my experience, those tissues are greyish in juveniles (young of the year) ..I don’t know when the transition occurs. Plumage colors are quite variable in Peregrines so I’m not sure you can use colors to age them reliable unless you have the bird in hand. Maybe Gerry L can help us here.

    The election results have sent out huge shock waves around the world. Those of us who care about the environment and the planet are bracing for a rough ride and an uphill battle. We are in the fight together Mia. Glen in Canada.

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