American Crow standing on a dead Asian Carp – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I spent a little bit of time yesterday morning at Farmington Bay WMA and saw more Bald Eagles than I have seen the entire winter, that may be because water levels have been dropped in some of the units in an effort to kill and control the invasive Asian Carp that make such a horrible mess of the marshes surrounding the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake to the south. The Bald Eagles come to Farmington Bay and feast on the dead carp. Those carp might be food for the eagles but they out compete native fish and they stir the water up until it becomes brown and filthy.
The Asian Carp and other invasive species were first introduced to Utah in the 1880’s thanks to Albert Perry Rockwood who had been appointed Territorial Fish Superintendent of Utah and was on official business on behalf of Brigham Young who along with other Mormon leaders decided that fish “possess brain making material to a greater extent than any other animal food.” so Rockwood tried to introduce many species of fish and crustaceans into the fresh water of Utah and even went so far as to try to farm lobsters and oysters in the Great Salt Lake.
Today millions of dollars have been spent trying to keep Asian Carp under control in Utah, I personally don’t think they will ever be completely eradicated. But enough about the carp and back to birds…
Yesterday there were also gulls and crows taking advantage of the dead carp in the units where the water levels have been dropped.
Utah has a huge increase in our American Crow population during the winter and they can be seen in some areas by the thousands but we don’t have that many American Crows that stick around during the breeding season, the crows we see now in large numbers are mostly winter residents that migrate north in the spring.
Yesterday the American Crows hung around with the Bald Eagles, Herring, California and Ring-billed Gulls to feast on those invasive fish which gave me an opportunity to photograph this one standing on a dead carp.
I love corvids and will always attempt to photograph them when I can. This crow stood on top of the fish taking small pieces of its flesh until a Herring gull made it take flight…
American Crow in flight at Farmington Bay WMA – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I was able to get one sharp photo of the crow in flight before it flew out of my view. I wish the light had been a little less contrasty so more fine details showed in the bird’s dark plumage but I do like the pose and eye contact I had with the crow.
It was fun photographing the American Crows at Farmington Bay WMA yesterday. Oh, I almost forgot to say I saw a small flock of American White Pelicans in flight yesterday plus a pair of mating American Kestrels, the female kestrel was banded on 12/13/17 at Farmington Bay and has been spotted at least a half dozen times at the WMA since then.
Life is good.