Black-billed Magpie Juvenile Perched on a Sign on Antelope Island

/, Birds, Black-billed Magpies, Davis County, Utah/Black-billed Magpie Juvenile Perched on a Sign on Antelope Island

Black-billed Magpie juvenile perched on a signBlack-billed Magpie juvenile perched on a sign – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I have often said I prefer to photograph my avian subjects on natural perches instead of man made items but there are times I find that I actually like the man made perches too.

There was a tribe of juvenile Black-billed Magpies on Antelope Island State Park yesterday down near White Rock Bay that were wandering around in the area near the Buffalo Point trailhead, some were perched on the greasewoods there, some were on the ground looking for food and one perched right on top of the trailhead sign. The magpie on the sign was the closest and I decided even though it was on a man made perch that I would photograph it.

Once I viewed the photo on my computer monitor I knew I wanted to process it and share it today because I like the pose of the bird, the smooth background, the rusty part of the signpost plus I also like the little informational icons on the sign below the magpies tail.

A group of Black-billed Magpies can be called a “tribe”, “tittering”, “gulp”, “charm” and a “mischief” of magpies, yesterday they sure seemed like a tribe of hunter-gathers scouring the area for food.

I could tell that the magpies I was photographing were juveniles because of the dark lavender color of their eyes and because their tails are shorter than the tails of adults. It looks like the Black-billed Magpies on Antelope Island had a successful breeding season, at least in that area of the park.

Life is good.



  1. Patty Chadwick July 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I like “mischief” of magpies, too…it’s appropriate…they are elegant mischiefmakers anyway. I like the colors in this image…they are very harmonious…the geometric shape of the sign and the contrasrpt of natural and manmade elements provides an interesting yin yang contrast and tention…

  2. Elephants Child July 28, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I always love to see your magpies. Similar, but so different to ours…

  3. April Olson July 28, 2017 at 9:21 am

    At School we work with a communication system of icons that represent speech called pecs. To me the bird looks like he is adding his “bird” pecs to the message board!

  4. Laura Culley July 28, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Lovely image! Personally, I like a mischief of magpies because it fits their personalities. Tribe works for me, too, but I really like mischief! I hate it that they don’t live here, but I’ll have to be content with crows and ravens. I fell in love with magpies in Colorado.

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