California Gull Hovering Over The Bear River in Winter

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Winter California Gull hovering over the Bear RiverWinter California Gull hovering over the Bear River – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/8000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light, not baited

A few weeks ago I posted some Ring-billed and Herring Gull photos taken at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in January of this year and I decided to share another gull image that I took that same day, photos of the state bird of Utah. California Gulls are year round residents here in northern Utah and have been credited, whether true or not, with saving the Mormon Pioneers by eating grasshoppers that were decimating their crops which is how a bird with the name of another state became Utah’s state bird.

I photographed this California Gull hovering over the Bear River with the snow covered Promontory Mountains in the back ground while it looked for prey in the open water below. I don’t have as much light in the eye as I normally would like to have but I think the position of the wings and the fine feather details make up for that quite well. I really don’t know how people could dislike these beautiful birds.

Life is good.



  1. Myriam November 18, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Beautiful photo, Mia! I love the position of the wings, tail and legs – so graceful! And the background has a beautiful, soft grace too.

  2. Elephant's Child November 18, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I don’t know how anyone can dislike ANY bird. Miracles of evolution.

    • Mia McPherson November 19, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Thank you EC, I don’t either. Some people will drive right past them.

  3. Utahbooklover November 18, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Always enjoy watching the gulls. Nice capture! The Mormon “cricket” actually belongs to the katydid family and they can grow up to 3-inches long but are flightless. They damage crops and can be a road hazard.

    “The pioneers had the good fortune of a relatively mild winter. Although late frosts in April and May destroyed some of the crops, the pioneers seemed to be well on their way to self-sufficiency. Unfortunately, swarms of insects appeared in late May. On June 9, 1848 the gulls helped save their crops.” Wikipedia

    • Mia McPherson November 19, 2016 at 9:01 am

      Thank you Utahbooklover. There is also some who believe it was actually Franklin’s Gulls that saved the Mormon Pioneers not California Gulls. I do wish we had a state bird that didn’t have the name California in it. Prairie Falcon might be better, or Golden Eagles because they are found in our deserts.

  4. Patty Chadwick November 18, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Beautiful bird…

  5. steven kessel November 18, 2016 at 6:57 am

    This is a gorgeous shot. I love the way the soft light models the gull and I also love the background. Congratulations on this one!

    • Mia McPherson November 19, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Thanks Steven! The background makes me smile a lot.

  6. Bob McPherson November 18, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Beautiful image, Mia.

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