Late Migrating American Avocets in Utah

Stretching American Avocet in non-breeding plumageStretching American Avocet in non-breeding plumage – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Most of the American Avocets have migrated away from northern Utah but most years we can have a few stragglers that haven’t migrated by this time of the year although in past years I have seen some avocets as late as the end of December. I photographed this stretching American Avocet in non-breeding plumage (Definitive Basic Plumage) last week at Farmington Bay WMA and few days ago saw more avocets on the Great Salt Lake from the causeway to Antelope Island.

I am still seeing a few other shorebirds that haven’t migrated including Greater Yellowlegs and Wilson’s Snipes but for the most part the rest of the shorebirds have gone south. I have been seeing two American Avocets regularly at Farmington Bay WMA the past few weeks and I wonder how long they will continue to hang around.  There might be snow in the Salt Lake Valley next week according to weather forecasts and that might make the remaining avocets here head south.

Until they do finally migrate I will enjoy seeing and photographing these graceful shorebirds.

Life is good.



  1. Joe DuChene November 13, 2016 at 3:10 am

    lovely shot

  2. Utahbooklover November 12, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Such a beauty but image left me wondering what the entire reflection looked like.

  3. Elephant's Child November 12, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Grace, beauty, style.

  4. Liz Cormack November 12, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Yoga pose. I’m thinking that I like the non-breeding plumage more than the breeding plumage. Wonderful photo.

  5. Linda Laugen November 12, 2016 at 7:55 am

    First photo needs ballet suite audio!! LOVELY!

  6. Bob mcpherson November 12, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Beautiful photo, Mia.

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