Immature Prairie Falcon At Sunrise Next To The Great Salt Lake

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Prairie Falcon at sunrise next to the Great Salt LakeImmature Prairie Falcon at sunrise next to the Great Salt Lake – Nikon D300, f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Five years ago today it was a bitter, cold morning and I spent it photographing birds and wildlife on Antelope Island State Park. I remember that the cold wind off of the Great Salt Lake made the skin on my face tingle and that without gloves on my hands they quickly started to feel numb.

The bird that started my day was an immature Prairie Falcon at sunrise next to the Great Salt Lake and as the sun started to rise the falcon seemed to glow. The boulder that the young falcon was perched on was still in the shadows when I photographed it which made that glow seem even brighter. How could I resist taking photos of it? A few minutes later I was able to photograph the falcon and the boulder it was perched on in brighter light but I liked this photo with the glow of sunrise on the falcon the most from that morning.

During the winter of 2011 and 2012 I photographed this immature Prairie Falcon quite often along the causeway to Antelope Island. There are times now when I see a Prairie Falcon along the causeway or on the north tip of Antelope Island I wonder if it is the young bird I came to know and appreciate that winter. Since Prairie Falcons can live to be 10 to 20 years old it is quite possible.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover December 10, 2016 at 11:47 am

    The light is perfect and the sweet look of innocence on its face is so endearing!

  2. Humming bird lover December 7, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Honey! What a beautiful bird! And you do such great work getting the best photo of it ! Have a great day! Sun is finally here! Love ya mom

  3. Patty Chadwick December 6, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Wonderful image!

  4. Elephant's Child December 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Just glorious.

  5. John Fox December 6, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Beautifully shot Mia! Wonderful story as well. I love prairie falcons. In fact the prairie falcon and you (Mia) are the two reasons I love nature and wildlife photography these days. I’m lucky enough to live about 15 minutes away from a resident one (my spark bird.) and I see him each winter in November and December.

  6. Bob mcpherson December 6, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Beautiful photo Mia

  7. Liz Cormack December 6, 2016 at 7:15 am

    OMGosh…..what a beautiful shot!

  8. Roger Burnard December 6, 2016 at 5:52 am

    I like this one a lot Mia… Well done. ;-)))

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