Rich B Young


December 19, 2012



Looking for Yellow-Shafted Flickers again today, I had a chance meeting with Steve Carr, who asked me the location of my first Yellow-Shafted, 2 days earlier. I told him it was about where we were standing.

Moments later, he exclaimed there was a Yellow-Shafted flicker in flight in front of us. I saw it as it landed and captured some diagnostic images.




Another image showing the red crest, and a bit of yellow




Also, today, Dec. 19, I happened onto

15 Evening Grosbeaks

across the street from Creekside, in Big Cottonwood Park; and this time I had blue sky (and sub-freezing temps!)



December 17, 2012

A Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker Male!

Creekside Park, Holladay, UT.


Below: a common Red-Shafted Northern Flicker Male from today for comparison!




Here is a Red-Shafted X Yellow-Shafted

Intergrade male I discovered today at the same location!




Here is the Northern Yellow-Shafted Flicker!










Another view showing the "yellow shaft" coloration





This view shows: red neck stripe; black malar; yellow 'shaft'





The Flicker went to ground here:







Its beak is coated with mud here, due to it foraging in the grass.





This image shows one side of the red neck stripe...





And this image shows the neck stripe in its entirety





My 2nd Bohemian Waxwing, also from Creekside Park






December 15, 2012

Catching up with images from Big Cottonwood/Creekside Parks:

I'll begin with this female Downy Woodpecker, to complement the male seen further below





Brown Creeper (thanks, Jeff!)





Again, Brown Creeper

in more detail





Screech Owl, being mobbed by Black-capped Chickadees!










And a 3rd image of the diminutive Western Screech Owl.





Adult Cooper's Hawk





After Jeff Cooper left, I discovered Evening Grosbeaks again, this time

at Big Cottonwood Park





Since I have so many other Evening Grosbeak images, I included this one for its novel "pose"!





"Rock Doves" are apparently fond of Russian Olives also...





I tried to locate other Bohemian Waxwings to no avail... only Cedar Waxwings were to be seen.





Northern Red-shafted Flickers here, with the one on the left being an intergrade!





Expanded image of the intergrade, (the 7th one in 12 months!)

(Red-shafted X Yellow-shafted hybrid,

distinguished by the red stripe on its neck)





The resident American Kestrel at Big Cottonwood Park...





And, a handsome Juvenile Cooper's hawk who emerged from a small tree on the pond, and posed on the deck/fence!





With this image, the bird bade me adieu...

topping off a memorable day with Jeff Cooper.

See Jeff's rendition of the day BY CLICKING HERE




December 11, 2012

Big Cottonwood Park, Holladay, UT.

had its own share of Evening Grosbeaks and other fun birds...

Male Evening Grosbeak


Female Evening Grosbeak


Downy Woodpecker


Song Sparrow...



American Goldfinch, winter plumage...



Tons of Juncos

Dark Eyed...







My 6th Red X Yellow Shafted Northern Flicker intergrade in 12 months!



I can't pass up photographing American Kestrels!




The Bohemian Waxwing below was also discovered and photographed at Big Cottonwood Park during this time



My first Bohemian Waxwing image!

Dec. 9, 2012

Talk about a needle in a haystack... trying to ferret out a Bohemian from literally hundreds of Cedar Waxwings...




Same Bohemian Waxwing...




Compare this Cedar Waxwing,

photographed moments before...









Creekside Park, Holladay, UT.



They were foraging on Russian Olives...


January 25, 2013

Foul Air, Fog, Ice keep me inside these days!

This gives me a moment to say to Big Cottonwood/Creekside patrons who read my site, are usually curious, but not savvy about birds:

Below are some very common birds seen at this time of year, starting with

a Song Sparrow,

puffed up against sub-freezing temps.





House Sparrow,

its bright colors contrasting against the cold winter sky





Yellow-rumped Warbler,

who decided to overwinter here.





Spotted Towhee,

a bird common year around, stays hidden in the underbrush.





An adult White-crowned Sparrow...





Contrasted against this Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow!



January 15, 2013

Single Digit Temperatures Dampen Bird Activities


Robins cluster at a tiny patch of open water, moving slowly while drinking




In spite of the extreme cold, even Song sparrows must drink




Mourning Doves that decided to overwinter here, tolerate me being close while taking my walk in the calm, extremely cold evening




Among the more active birds is the Yellow-Rumped warbler



Russian olives constitute their diets this day







The lovely Cedar Waxwings were also flitting about...




Searching for a Bohemian among them was fruitless this evening









DECEMBER 28, 2012

What does a snowy day offer a die-hard photographer?

Common, but fun birds!


A Song Sparrow




Another song sparrow...




An American Kestrel...





But the most fun, and colorful of all...

A willing Spotted Towhee.




Shifting position with a little wing-power




Lots of fine detail here...



A side view ends the sequence.







DECEMBER 27, 2012

Where to look for birds during January Freeze...?

With ponds, and standing water freezing up, waterfowl concentrate on the

Jordan River!


Near Sandy Pond...

a Great Blue Heron almost close enough to touch, standing in the thicket

between the walkway and the stream




Approaching from a different direction provided me with this classic shot




As I journeyed along the miles of walkway, the bird graced me with a









American Wigeon pair...





Wigeons are well represented on the river in this area (approximately 100th South)





An area to hone skills photographing BIF (birds in flight)


















Against a 'bald sky'...




into the Sun...










A tiny female Bufflehead, with an American Coot for size comparison





Drake Pintail in full breeding colors






And a flyover Sharpshinned hawk to top off the day.






December 27, 2012


I, for one, tend to 'anthropomorphize' bird behavior...


Case in point:


Recently at Creekside Park, Holladay Ut.,

a Robin and a Cedar Waxwing decided to bathe together, in a puddle created by melting snow.

I imagined I heard the following conversation:


"OK, on the count of three...






















NOVEMBER 17, 2012

A week after discovery of a Trumpeter swan, on Nov. 14, the

Antelope Island Causeway did not disappoint!

Large concentrations of various waterfowl featured: lower left... Scaup;

upper right... Surf Scoter



A female White-winged Scoter provided a closeup...




Here both wings are seen to display the white coloration on the Scoter



A lone Franklin gull is amidst a flock of Bonaparte's gulls



The presence of a Northern Harrier causes an eruption of birds into flight.




I was pleased with these 2 images of the Harrier



This frame features 9 of the 25 Western Grebes found at the 2nd bridge.




From an artist's point of view, groups of 3 and 5 are desirable.

Here are 3, up closer.



Common Goldeneyes are, ... common!



Barrow's Goldeneyes... not as common.




Here is a humorous positioning of a male Barrow's head, I've not seen

this very often...




Elsewhere on the Island, Rock wrens were seen puffed-up against the cold.



Each visit to the Island provides opportunities for the American Kestrel



The Loggerhead Shrike is ubiquitous year 'round




Another postion...




And a 3rd...

(I have yet to photograph a Northern Shrike!)




I've stopped photographing Bison; but this guy standing on a ridge got

my attention...




As did the 2 Snow geese (one adult; one juvenile)




This trio looks like a vaudeville act!!









November 9, 2012

A Trumpeter Swan was Discovered by "Deedee"

at the Antelope Island Causeway!

Yesterday Deedee and I exchanged rare bird info after accidentally meeting at the 2nd bridge on the AIC: I pointed out the Harlequin duck; she pointed northwest and brought to my attention a SWAN that she had discovered earlier, saying she thought it was a Trumpeter.

I got into my car and was able to photograph the bird from my vehicle.










The same journey to Antelope Island provided images of a

"Dark-Morph" adult male Rough-legged Hawk...












November 6, 2012

Jensen Pond, Syracuse UT.,


Antelope Island Causeway


Common Loon, non-breeding plumage, Jensen Pond




another view




Contrast the above non-breeding plumage with breeding plumage seen in April, below:




another view of breeding plumage Common Loon




Cool little Juvenile Ring-Billed Gull, Jensen Pond




Reliable Female Harlequin,

Antelope Island Causeway




Red-Breasted Merganser, AIC








Merganser in flight, backlit, unfortunately!




November 6, 2012

A brief walk in Crestwood produced 2 fun birds:

A vocalizing Spotted Towhee...





and a colorful Western Scrub Jay




Also at Crestwood park I photographed another

Northern Flicker INTERGRADE.

Ironically this bird was located at the exact same tree that I photographed an identical intergrade on December 15, 2011!


From today...

(notice the red stripe on back of neck)




From December 2011:




A third Intergrade from Crestwood, in March, 2012






November 4, 2012

Late Autumn Colors


Big Cottonwood Park, Holladay, UT.




another view...




On a cloudy day, another Cooper's Hawk (an adult bird)

appeared there...







On the same day, two Northern Flickers created a lovely scene

while feasting of Russian Olive Fruit.







On a subsequent sunny day, I finally had access

to a cooperative Marsh Wren!




The Wren began vocalizing here...




Alternative 'poses'...









November 1, 2012

A rare bird for Utah, a Red-Necked Grebe (left) along with a more common Horned Grebe (right) for comparison, photographed October 30, at

Lee Kay Ponds, Salt Lake County, UT.


These ponds are a bit of nightmare for photography, since the birds are most always backlit due to access.





October 30, 2012

What a difference 10 days can make when a drake Pintail is resuming his

"Breeding Plumage" at the

Kennecott Nature Center pond, Murray/Jordan River Parkway, UT.




Compare this image (same bird) 10 days earlier!!!


October 29, 2012

A Repeat Performance with a Cooper's Hawk at Big Cottonwood Park,

Holladay, Ut.

Approximately once a week, I encounter the same bird, on the same perch, at the same time (evening)...




This evening the bird provided me both back and frontal positions




October 28, 2012

A Welcome Sight...

An apparent female Harlequin duck (reported by Terry Sadler),

has shown up at the bridge closest to the island on

the Antelope Island Causeway!




More images of the new Harlequin duck...
















October 25, 2012

The white Mallard drake's back at Big Cottonwood Park pond after a loooooong hiatus!






October 24, 2012

I didn't have to venture far for the following images...

Only to the edge of my back porch!


Odd Bedfellows, for sure!

An American Kestrel often perches atop the pine tree next door; but when

it was greeted by a Black-billed Magpie, it was time for the camera!




It was fun to watch when they decided to make eye contact!





October 20, 2012

A brief visit to Big Cottonwood Park purchased me my first "Marsh Wren"!




This bird was very likely the most difficult target I've ever encountered!




The shooting session was over in a matter of seconds!




With the world's largest lighting diffuser (clouds!), I couldn't pass up this Northern Flicker although there are many others on this page already!



October 19, 2012

A stroll along the Murray/Jordan River Parkway is always worthwhile...


The drake Pintail is still molting; and his speculum is getting flashier than ever...



A real prize for me was this handsome Redtailed Hawk!







Such a spectacular sight!!




October 16, 2012

An evening stroll in Big Cottonwood Park yielded me this fine

Cooper's Hawk, bathed in evening sunlight








October 12, 2012

A visit to Big Cottonwood Park in Holladay, UT.

produced this Virginia Rail!

I had photographed them in May; but I assumed they had left the area!

Yesterday, Oct. 11




Same location, May 18, this year:




Before we leave the Virginia Rails,

notice again, the intense blue coloration of the bird's head and shaded surroundings!

This is the result of blue (cyan) skylight reflecting from the sky into the shaded areas.

Now roll your cursor over the image and notice its appearance after

I intentionally 'adjusted' the color!


Which is "Best"?! Which is Accurate?!


What I "saw" is the 'before' image!







"Territorial Behavior of American Avocets"

seen (HERE) at my Blog!









Oct. 7, 2012

A Visit to Murray/Jordan River Parkway...

It's been a while,


I discovered

5 Greater Yellowlegs

on the pond at

the Kennecott Nature Center (1st time seeing this species there!)


4 of the 5 Greater Yellowlegs




I'm quite sure these are Greater Yellowlegs, since I matched up their calls with

my iPod app for 'Greater Yellowlegs'.

Also, notice the slight upturn on this bird's beak.




I haven't seen many Northern Flickers this year, so I enjoyed seeing a

group of them along the trail going southward

Here is a colorful example...




In the process of photographing Flickers,

I happened upon another

Northern Red Shafted X Yellow Shafted intergrade,

distinguished as such by its black malar stripe.




I'm happy to report, the drake Pintail duck is still present at the pond

at the Nature Center!

I've been photographing him since early this year.

He is just now returning to Breeding Plumage, albeit slowly!




October 7, 2012

The Winds of Change are apparent


Antelope Island these days!


(Roll your cursor over this landscape!)



The Causeway hosts Savannah Sparrows...



One provides a nicer photo opportunity, nestled in some 'rabbitbrush'



and again...




The Causeway hosts a variety of juveniles as seen in European Starlings...




And Brewer's Blackbirds




A few Eared Grebes linger on...




American Avocets now appear in their 'nonbreeding plumage...




Overcast days turn these birds into "Black & White" images...




Contrast this American Avocet in breeding plumage against the 2 images above...




"Peeps" are sometimes spectacular

when flying!




Multiple images of the same Western Sandpiper

during landing, sequenced then "stacked" here...



During the first week in September, sunflowers provided a spectacular opportunity!

An Eastern Kingbird was still to be found on the road to the ranch!




Along with the sun, came an accomodating

Wilson's Warbler seen in 4 images below!













Along with an Owl... all at the Garr Ranch on the Island.




Late summer blooms

punctuate this image of a possible Gray Flycatcher



The next 3 images are of another "empid".




This bird was fun to watch as it shifted 'poses' for me...




One last pose for the camera...




At the Garr ranch, a Lazuli bunting was seen.




The Sage Thrasher below allowed multiple images to be taken...




As did this Loggerhead Shrike on the Causeway.




Rock Wrens are common on "ladyfinger Point", and around the Visitors'





At the Ranch, a Townsend's Solitaire was seen in the picnic area




Along with Hermit Thrushes




This Hermit Thrush was foraging on Russian Olives.




A 'Says Phoebe' was nestled in among the trees at the picnic area.




Along the roads traversing the island can be seen Burrowing Owls.




But the area west of the ranch house is often populated with a wonderful

variety of birds at this time of year, such as

the Townsend's Warbler.




Another Townsend's image...




and a 3rd...



The next 3 images are likely a female Wilson's warbler.






fun to photograph...



Ruby Crowned Kinglets appear again as they did in the Spring.




Maybe a Hammond's, or Dusky flycatcher in the next 3 images...









Yellow Rumped Warblers are well represented...



Yellow Rumped...




I finally got 2 Red-Breasted Nuthatches to 'pose'.






Notice the coloration difference between this bird and the one that follows.



This, I believe is the female Red-Breasted Nuthatch.








I'm fairly confident that the next 4 images are of an

Orange-Crowned Warbler













Northern Red-Shafted Flickers were busy foraging




And a sure sign of the

"Winds of Change'

are heralded by the appearance of a





A distant Golden Eagle provided this 'marginal' image




Deer demonstrate their winter coloration as seen with this Doe and





Along with this huge Buck Mule Deer.




Coyotes are seen often along the roadside, at any season...


Winter is a'comin', with rare ducks I hope!

September 12, 2012

Big Cottonwood Park yielded a mixed bag of photos...

Beginning with 2 cool little hummingbirds.





Lesser Goldfinches in general have plumage that is fast becoming worn...




American Crows were there by the dozens, here mobbing a

Redtailed Hawk




Ironically, the crows mingled with more Black-billed magpies than I've ever seen at one time!




The above and below images only show a tiny fraction of Magpie/Crow mix gathered here, allowing me to position myself under their

circle of activity!



The Magpies' plumage also showed weathering.



Here, Crows are gorging on Russian Olive fruit.



The Crows would swoop close to my head as they gathered in a circular fashion in Cottonwood trees surrounding me, with Magpies also present.

They all presented 'easy pickins' as subjects for my camera.



Moving to another location in the Park, I found this noisy character...




And these 2 not-so-noisy characters high up in a tree,

making for fascinating offbeat image captures.







September 10, 2012

'Tis the Season for Fall Migration... Let's start with images of a

Common Nighthawk from the Jordan River Parkway...




These images were taken in early afternoon during a surprise flyby.




A third and last image...



September 7, 2012

Big Cottonwood Park/Holladay, Ut.


Images of a Black-Capped Chickadee using a "tool" held in its beak, to

pry out food morsels from tree bark!


There are numerous accounts of birds employing objects as 'tools' to succeed in food

gathering... but none that I could find about Chickadees.

So here is one for the books.




Another view of the bird with 'tool'...



September 3, 2012

A Western Wood Peewee...




in action...







September 2, 2012

A Eurasian Collard Dove, at Murray/Jordan River Parkway,

An alien bird; but, nonetheless a striking specimen!





showing its distinctive eyes

August 30, 2012

A fine example of Juvenile Cooper's Hawk appeared while walking

Murray/Jordan River Parkway today




Another opportunity to crop for an 'up-close and personal'













August 26, 2012

A trip to Antelope Island, and 2 birds as an outcome...

Cordilleran Flycatcher




Another image of the Cordilleran Flycatcher, a tough bird

to photograph!


Great Horned Owl.

Garr Ranch







August 7, 2012

A Study of Northern Pintail "Eclipse" vs "Breeding" Plumage

I've had the good fortune to have access to the same Drake Northern Pintail from January to

the present date, at Kennecott Nature Center, Murray/Jordan River Parkway!

Below is one outcome from such access:

a direct comparison between Breeding

and Eclipse Plumage!


Breeding Plumage, March 15, 2012




Eclipse Plumage, August 7, 2012

It's important to remember, these images are of the same duck!





August 2, 2012

For variety I walked at Crestwood Park, Cottonwood Heights today,

with camera in hand.

Birds were acting strange, with perhaps 20 or so Magpies concentrated in

trees above the Little Cottonwood Creek.

Suddenly, I saw the reason...

2 Juvenile "Light Morph, Western" Red-tailed Hawks encircled by


took flight, circled several times, providing me

with numerous photos

before they exited the scene.


Hawk #1




Hawk #1




Hawk #1



Hawk #2

I hope they come back soon!












July 26, 2012

A Cloudy Day For a Change...

I'm looking for prime examples of Birds In Flight taken on cloudy days

for my new


and I came up with some I'd also like to share on this page:

Details of this Northern Harrier are more apparent than what might be

seen on a sunny day.



The same is true for this American Kestrel...



And, a favorite of mine, the Prairie Falcon...



Images of a familiar friend, a resident Belted Kingfisher, July 22nd, on the

Jordan River Parkway.

I must admit, I love capturing birds in flight on overcast days,

when clouds create a neutral color of diffuse light!

Newest digital cameras allow settings like the ones used here:


shutter: 1/1600 sec., aperture: f6.3; ISO: 1600

I don't need to remind you of the speed of this bird in a power-dive!

Here we see accurate color of this bird, thanks to the canopy of cloud cover!

JULY 26, 2012


Drake Mallards can be quite striking when wearing their

"Eclipse Plumage"





This first Drake Mallard in Eclipse Plumage was photographed in

Direct Sunlight. The reason this bird attracted my attention was

the very distinctive bright yellow bill!



This second image of Eclipse Plumage was photographed under

overcast, neutral, natural light. I've photographed a number of these birds, but only the bird above has the distinction of such a bright bill




Drake Mallards, Eclipse Plumage, August, 2012

"London Wetlands Centre",

London, U.K.

Courtesy, David B. Meyer (son-in-law)





July 17, 2012

Taking Advantage Again of Another Overcast Day to

'Illuminate' Detail in Birds:


Fledgling Barn Swallows






Front and Back...



July 15, 2012

An Overcast Day!!!

I look forward to days when clouds provide a HUGE neutral diffusion filter over the sun!





Overcast lighting enhances the features of an Adult, Breeding Plumage NECO




In contrast to other photographers who curse flat lighting,

I find that such softly-lit days are perfect for many bird species!

Compare the 3 images of a Belted Kingfisher in this light to images in direct sun further down the page (7/10/12)



Tricky image to accomplish on a cloudy day!



A bit of blur adds to the illusion of motion...





July 11, 2012

Random Images from Kennecott Nature Center Pond...


The Resident Drake Pintail, when compared to an image from April,

demonstrates the comparison of non-breeding and breeding plumage!




Here is the tiniest, youngest Cedar Waxwing that I've ever



July 10, 2012

Enjoy a hilarious interaction from today, between a Belted Kingfisher

and a small gang of Swallows!



You'll see the series as it happened...




























Enough is Enough!!!




The Kingfisher "bails out"!



July 6, 2012

Student Discovery of Green Heron at Kennecott Nature Center,

Murray/Jordan River Parkway!

While teaching Karin Kirchhoff aspects of Bird Photography, she noticed movement across the pond and

brought it to my attention.









July 5, 2012

I happened upon a substantial number of Bullock's Orioles, both Parents

and Fledglings, along the Jordan River Parkway, that provided me with

the following images!

(Two fresh faces!)



Female Adult in the process of feeding juvenile



Head-thrust by the parent...



Finally!... a Juvenile out in the open



Watching me from a distance...







Here starts a series of age differences, beginning with an Adult Female




The youngest in my collection from July 4 can fly...












Final juvenile...




August 7, 2012

Crestwood Red-tail Hawk Redux

The 2 birds I posted earlier from Crestwood Park, Cottonwood Heights,

have become reliable features at that location, as I walk there often.

Although I haven't had the closeup opportunities shown in earlier images,

these handsome birds provide incentive to draw me back.


Here are a series where the 2 birds fly in and perch on pines high on the north hillside.


















Out in the hot sun, an adult Male Bullock's Oriole gathers food;

but notice, it is in the process of

'gular panting', due to excessive heat!




All the other species I encountered were doing the same this day!

(Barn Swallow with mouth agape)



American Goldfinch male, cooling off!



Western Kingfisher, showing effects of excessive heat!



Not sure on this species; but it's feeling the heat!



Cedar Waxwing, mouth agape!




I end this post with a Bullock's Oriole from another time,

Likely my very best thus far...





July 3, 2012

A Cedar Waxwing behaving like a Flycatcher at the Jordan River Parkway.

(Difficult image to capture!)




June 27, 2012

A wrong road ended up delightful!

I encountered a family of Western Kingbirds!

(Somewhere in Davis County!)




Entirely from the window of my car...

I observed this pair...




and discovered the rest of their family by watching the female...




deliver food!




Up Close, And Personal...!






There are three babies in this nest, and they surprised me by

getting up and wandering on the limbs!




This little 'ringleader' seemed to be the most precocious!



The 3 baby Western Kingbirds

'followed the leader' to provide this image!


June 23, 2012

A Sad Condition found at the Murray/Jordan River Nature Center Parkway


Already almost empty, and it's only the 3rd week of June!



A lone American White Pelican flies by, shunning it...



However, the Snowy Egret is back this day, just beginning a 'stretch'.



Compare this 'stretch' to the above image!



This Snowy Egret sports the pink coloration in the Lores, indicating

a Breeding bird.



Another lovely bird reappears... a Forster's Tern!



I used my old, repaired 80-400 lens, one that is focused by a motor inside

the camera body, considered archaic and slow...



But, there are workarounds with this lens that assure excellent

Birds-In-Flight/stop action results, as seen here.



Pre-focusing the lens on a stationary object approximately the same

distance as the bird works wonders.



The Forster's Tern hovers, looking for a fish

(an Asian fish called a "Weather Roach"!).



It ploughs into the shallow water, with mud erupting around it.



It recovers, and has succeeded in collecting a Weather Roach fish,

looking like a tiny eel, having it in its mouth!



A somewhat obscure view of the fish is seen in the beak, as the bird exits the area.

More images of the enigmatic Asian Weather Roach are seen below with a Belted Kingfisher

and a

Neotropic Cormorant at

an earlier time






June 21, 2012

Mystery Fish is solved:

The following images feature an introduced "WEATHER LOACH" from the pond at Kennecott Nature Center, Murray/Jordan River Parkway!

Belted Kingfisher images: 6-21; and

Neotropic Cormorant are from an earlier time this Spring.


Belted Kingfisher with Weather Loach: DETAILS, click (HERE)



NOTE: More images of Belted Kingfishers and this type of 'fish'

can be seen (HERE)


Neotropic Cormorant with Weather Loach.


NECO again...


June 21, 2012

The tiny pond at the

"Kennecott Nature Center", Murray/Jordan River Parkway,

was the stage for a wild and delightful barrage of ELEVEN

American White Pelicans,

to the excitement of adults and children alike!




I located a Northern Rough-winged Swallow there also.





Don't forget that your long lenses often are designed to

focus close-up, as was done here

(Jordan River Parkway)



June 24, 2012

Neotropic Cormorants, while scarce, still are present in Northern Utah,

at Mill Race Pond, Taylorsville, UT.


These 2 NECOs were 'talking' to each other, with the bird on the

right, becoming agitated and displaying its pink gular sac!



June 14, 2012


A rare bird for Utah!

A Prothonotary Warbler!

"Fort Buenaventura Park", Ogden, Ut.

Discovered in Weber County by Kristin Purdy, she posted precise

location information. Many Utah birders added this "Life bird" for

their lists because of her discovery and post!

(Thanks Kris!)




Another view...

(BTW, be sure to study Kristin's Sight Record (HERE)

if you have any questions regarding physical characteristics!)




Still another...




And a look, after the bird captured some food...




The Prothonotary Warbler was found in an area associated with a

female Yellow Warbler and young...




There is speculation that some of the young are offspring of a

Brown-headed Cowbird!







June 11, 2012

Kennecott Nature Center Again,

another lens and observing cool bird species/behavior!


First, a Eurasian Collard Dove.

These particular birds seemed to love to pose!




A 2nd Eurasian Collard Dove appears...



I included only one image of this pair 'posing'!

However, they provided different 'poses' multiple times!



Killdeer are well represented at the Kennecott Nature Center.

This adult is about to feign being injured to lure me away from

unseen young!

I was standing on a viewing deck,

a substantial distance away from the bird!




Here it goes into: "I'm injured, and helpless!"




The bird gets somewhat serious here...




And really serious here!




Spotted Sandpiper again,




These birds are working the Jordan River, along with the marsh

adjacent to the pond.




Here, it's displaying with its wings ( one of several stances)




Sunday, June 10, the American White Pelican population rose

to 4...

One neighbor said he'd lived there 35 years, never seeing Pelicans

on the pond before.




As evening light occurred, the dark image held a surprise for me

until I got home to my computer.

Behold, a Black-Crowned Night Heron was on the sideline!

It showed up when I 'tightened up' the histogram in Photoshop.







June 10, 2012

Update on Kennecott Nature Center, testing repaired lens.

2 new birds for that location...

Black Crowned Night Heron




The water level has dropped drastically, along with the flow of the

Jordan River.




Another new entry (for me) for this small body of water,

American White Pelican




On an extremely windy afternoon, June 9, Pelicans flew in...






The arrival of these birds was wildly acclaimed by children from

all over the neighborhood!




June 9, 2012

(Testing a repaired lens)

The following series of images come from

Kennecott Nature Center, Murray/Jordan River Parkway


A Forster's Tern,



Interesting water pattern, created by water draining off the

forster's forked tail




A Brown-headed Cowbird male...




A Juvenile Bullock's Oriole...




The Swallows found at the Nature Center are always

available for image capture.







Cedar Waxwings have been prolific here, feeding.



Photographers! You can't go wrong with these

photogenic birds!



I point out these birds to people who walk by,

and show them my images from my camera.

They are amazed when shown what is all around them!



I tell people that Cedar Waxwings were designed by Las Vegas




As the evening light diminished, I happened upon several

Spotted Sandpipers, excellent targets for evaluating lenses.




For any interested, this repaired lens is the old,

Nikon 80-400mm VR, the first Vibration Reduction lens from Nikon.

(Nikon needs to replace this model lens!)




Lens Test Conclusion...

It functions better than when first purchased over 10 years ago

I ended my tests with this Puffball...


June 7, 2012

3rd and last installment of Birds from

Jensen Nature Park


A Majestic Great Blue Heron makes its appearance...




As many as 3 Great Blue Herons have been seen at the same time...



The birds have become somewhat tolerant to humans.




Watch for Herons in the patch of Russian Olives

directly west of the Park.




The birds gravitate to these trees often .



The field directly south of the Russian Olive patch is another place to look, backlighting occurs after noon.



These are certainly one of my favorite birds.


June 6, 2012

A 2nd Installment of Birds from

Jensen Nature Park

Brewer's Blackbirds with unseen offspring, causing them to be defensive...




Brewer's Female...




Brewer's Male...




This male was literally attacking people walking by...



An American Coot, coming off its nest...




Coot eggs...



Further progression yields the following...





June 5, 2012

Installment 1.

An In-Depth Look at some Spring-Summer Residents


Jensen Nature Park, Syracuse, UT.



We begin with a Spotted Sandpiper running furiously, shouting,

"The Sky Is Falling..."




We visit a handsome Yellow-Headed Blackbird Male




Contrasted with this awkward Juvenile Yellow-Headed Blackbird!




A Western Kingbird provided some nice views...




Along with some while in-flight...




Another image flying...




Swallows in Breeding Plumage are always spectacular,

Here is a Tree Swallow.




And another...



However, a favorite Swallow, for me, is the

Violet-Green Swallow!




Moving on to another spectacular bird at Jensen Nature Park,


Great-Tailed Grackle male




And its Female, with Lunch for the Kids...




The following images illustrate the Male posturing, as is the common

Springtime pastime.





Frontview Display...








Backview Display




Several other Displays are shown below:







I'll end today's post with Pied-Billed Grebes... mother and kids, with

a Juvenile seen here.




Female and single Juvenile Pied-Billed Grebe




The 'Gang'...




The last photo of the day...from Jensen Nature Park, Syracuse, UT.


May 30, 2012

Let's Talk Tech Today!

My 'walkaround camera' is featured below.

You can see from the comparison to the coffee cup, it's very compact.

(I'll be launching a Blog soon, which deals with the technical end of



What can this diminutive 70-300mm lens do?

The resident Pintail Drake at Kennecott Nature Center stood clear

of the water providing this image which was cropped moderately.



Severely 'cropping' the above image still provides great detail!




The Nikon camera and lens featured here are 'entry level', 'consumer quality' equipment that do marvelous work, considering their cost, IMO.



I 'celebrated' a birthday that put me a notch beyond 3/4 century old...

I love to leave the heavy equipment home when I walk!

The hummer is another example of the camera-lens combo,

along with other birds shown from my earlier post below.




Memorial Day Weekend, 2012

A Cold, Gray, Dismal, Rainy Day...

Resurrected by a lone Bullock's Oriole singing from atop a dead tree!


300mm magnification Uncropped...

Thank Heaven for high res digital cameras and Modern optics!




May 24, 2012

The late afternoon served as an excellent day for a walk along

the Murray/Jordan River Parkway, with perfect temperatures, cool

breeze and COLORFUL BIRDS!



This Yellow Warbler chose to perch in a spot of direct sunlight, that

enhanced his gorgeous colors!



More color showed up in the form of a Cedar Waxwing!



This 1st year Bullock's Oriole was one of several seen on my walk.



This Mature Male Bullock's Oriole really stands out, with cool

blue sky and green foliage.



Barn Swallows rest on the edge of the pond.



Reflection doubles a Snowy Egret at the Pond at Kennecott Nature




A pair of Belted Kingfishers obscured by twigs.



Closeup of the Female Belted Kingfisher/Murray/Jordan River



Male Belted Kingfisher



An "Alien" bird...

Eurasian Collard Dove,

seen often on the River Walk



Other "Alien" birds, creating reflections.

Neotropic Cormorants





May 6, 2012

First of Year Black-chinned Hummingbird,

Crestwood Park, Sandy, Ut.




A closer view...




Black-headed Grosbeak,

Crestwood Park, Sandy, Ut.


May 5, 2012

I'm still focusing (pun) on birds at

Big Cottonwood Park, Murray-Holladay area.

Those of you who frequent the park, watch

for this colorful bird... Western Tanager Male!




The park is also hosting a few of these migrant birds,

Black Headed Grosbeaks!




A 3rd colorful bird to look for is:

Bullock's Oriole.



Another migrant that is showing up (likely due to the proximity

of the horse corrals), is the Brown-Headed Cowbird!

Read about this strange bird in the Salt Lake Tribune (HERE)

Brown-Headed Cowbird pair



May 2, 2012

Two more Cedar Waxwing images from Big Cottonwood Park!




A Cedar Waxwing from Sunday, 4-29

Big Cottonwood Park



Cedar Waxwings are a favorite of mine...




May 20, 2012

Finally, a decent image of a juvenile Virginia Rail from Big Cottonwood.




May 18, 2012

The 3rd time to Successfully Photograph the Big Cottonwood

Virginia Rails provided me conditions that have a

"Painterly" appearance.

1 of 2:




2 of 2:


May 17, 2012

A handsome Cooper's Hawk provided this and other nice images


Big Cottonwood Park, Holladay, UT.


May 17, 2012

Morning Sunshine assists in lighting up the

Big Cottonwood Virginia Rail


May 16, 2012

First images of the Virginia Rail occurred on an overcast day




Another view of an adult Virginia Rail when lighting was marginal



The image of a Juvenile Virginia Rail is less than ideal in poor light!



May 15, 2012

Black-headed Grosbeak, Big Cottonwood Park




Fox Kits, Private Residence, Holladay, Ut.



Single kit, scrambling down a hole!

Private Residence, Holladay, Ut.




One Mad Momma!

Private Residence, Holladay, Ut.




Young Buck

Private Residence, Holladay, Ut.



Chickadee, showing off...

Private Residence, Holladay, Ut.



May 11, 2012

Some Random Images...

Eared Grebes, Great Salt Lake




May 11, 2012

Sea of Grebes...

Great Lake Lake


American Kestrel

Antelope Island



Mourning Dove Pair

Antelope Island



Killdeer in Flight




Western Kingbird




Yellow-Headed Blackbird

Saltaire- G.S.L




May 8, 2012

Birds in Flight are my passion!

Mallard Male


May 3, 2012

Here are several images of another Favorite bird of mine!

Spotted Towhee!



I shift position to change background!



Back view...



This one is doing "pullups"!



At Crestwood Park in Sandy...


Black-headed Grosbeak!



Tiny "Dusky Flycatcher"



Cute Yellow-rumped Warbler!


A Few Black-Bellied Plovers from Antelope Island!













A Few more New Birds, Up Close!

Farmington Bay




Jordan River/Murray Parkway

Black-Crowned Night Heron



Another view...



yet another Black-Crowned Night Heron


Farmington Bay

Snowy Egret



Great Blue Heron



Male Pintail duck



White-Faced Ibis



Female (L), Male American Wigeons



Western Kingbird


Cottonwood Park

Lesser Goldfinch pair



Composite image of female (L), male Lesser Goldfinch



Amorous Canada pair


Kennecott Nature Center, Jordan River Parkway

Gadwall pair



Eurasian Collard Dove



NEW A Neotropic Cormorant, 4-26-12

Kennecott Nature Center, Jordan River Parkway




Some kind of stretch going on here... looks a bit primordial to me.


This NECO plays with its 'catch', much like a cat with mouse!

I've only seen Neotropic Cormorants at this location one other time, August 2009.




Cottonwood Park, April 25...

Success again with the Sora today!

These birds are likely my greatest photo-challenge...

Difficult to locate... difficult to get a clear shot!

This is likely the best I'll ever get!


April 24, 2012


I suceeded in photographing a SORA at Big Cottonwood Park!

These birds are exceedingly difficult to view, in my experience!







April 19, 2012

Jordan River Parkway

Belted Kingfisher Series,

Courting Behavior



Featuring a pair of Belted Kingfishers




April 19, 2012

Mill Race Park, Taylorsville UT.

Neotropic Cormorant in Flight




April 16, 2012

Cottonwood Park Pond


White Mallard and Mate in Flight!


Such a beautiful Spring Day at Cottonwood Park Pond.

White Mallard and mate circling the pond for exercise.




The birds lifted off the pond as I exited my car, and provided me with numerous photos

as they circled 3 times before landing again.




This duck fascinates me...

I believe it is one of a select few white Mallards that can fly.

I have only seen 2 of them in my lifetime!





April 25... evening

Just shy of 8:00 P.M., I exercised (walked) at Big Cottonwood Park

And, again, heard the Soras.

Camera always handy, I photographed this bird in the waning light of evening.

Other birders were present; and it was concluded that there were

at least 4 Soras accounted for around the periphery of the pond at that time!

April 24, 2012

A Remarkable Comparison Between Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorant!

I'm extremely pleased that I could accomplish this:

Over a 4 day period (April 19-23) I was able to photograph both a Neotropic Cormorant and a

Double Crested Cormorant standing on the same floating perch at separate times.

Both of these birds were in the process of cooling themselves by using

"GULAR FLUTTER" (click for additional info)

as a means of thermo-regulation of body heat.

The significance:


The images demonstrate SPECIES DIFFERENTIATION in color and morphology!



First of Year Neotropic Cormorant appeared

at Mill Race Park Pond, Taylorsville UT., April 4, 2012

Neotropic cormorants are listed as "accidental" visitors to Utah.




(Technical information primarily for birders:)

These birds are Neotropic Cormorants in breeding plumage

photographed at 'Sandy Pond', an urban fishery in Sandy,Utah.

Their size and markings make them quite easy to identify.




Here is a non-breeding Neotropic Cormorant

discovered April 10 of this year, at Mill Race Pond, Taylorsville UT.

This bird could be confused as being the common Double-Crested Cormorant




In this composite image, several distinguishing features

are illustrated.

Feathered Lores and a pink colored "gular sac" distinguish this bird as a Neotropic Cormorant




Yet, there is one other feature that sets this cormorant apart from

the more common Double-Crested cormorant...

The angle of the gular area where it meets the head, being "V" shaped.

April 15, 2012

Big Cottonwood Park

A few images of Ruby-crowned Kinglets!

This little bird was too close for me to capture its entire body!

Very friendly! Notice the red point on its head... giving it its name.



Shallow Depth of Field (open aperture) separates this bird from its surroundings



These birds have amazing songs!









April 8, 2012 Easter Sunday

Big Cottonwood Park. (SEE MAP)

Spring Arrives!

A Mother Mallard has graced the pond with

newborn ducklings!








A single duckling from an earlier hatch created smiles

with its odd color, topnotch, and comic expression!


Foxes are known to inhabit this park.

My first sighting was back in 1998.

Here is a more recent photo... the east side (corral) location:



An all-white "Mallard" discovered at the pond there...

Provides a lesson



Our cameras fail to simultaneously capture detail in extreme whites

and dark areas (in direct sun).




The all-white Mallard, with its female Mallard mate are difficult subjects for even the best cameras in bright sunlight.

The white duck loses detail; and the female is too dark!

By 'rolling over' the image with your mouse, notice the detail improvement

when the image has been edited with Adobe Photoshop!



The best alternative is to find:

A naturally occurring shaded area with its 'flat light'.

This provides good detail in both birds at the same time, as seen below.




People ask me what kind of bird this is...

There is only one on the entire pond.

It is an "American Coot".




A closeup-front view shows its unique head




A few other birds from this day at Big Cottonwood Park include,

A handsome male American Kestrel




Redwing Blackbird males are a prominent feature at Big Cottonwood Park pond



These birds have a melodic song that announces Spring.




The female Redwing blackbird is quite different in appearance..




Here we see a direct comparison between male and female




Here the male Redwing blackbird really 'struts his stuff'!

This "puffing up" action coincides with its call.



Not an easy subject to capture with camera!



Yellow-rumped Warblers make their presence known




At present the Yellow-Rumped Warblers are busy catching flying insects,

darting back and forth from trees along the pond shoreline




I add this image to demonstrate where they got their name,




Black-Capped Chickadees blend so well against the tree bark.



The Chickadees enjoy eating emergent foliage on the trees.



The Red-tailed Hawk enjoys eating birds!



Red-tailed Hawk in Flight



A Downy Woodpecker is a distinct challenge to photograph!



This one was also found at Big Cottonwood Park, Holladay, UT.






Up close and personal with the Western Scrub Jay

Crestwood Park, Salt Lake County, Ut.



My recent walks have been cloudy.

I enjoy the detail I'm able to capture in the diffused light!



Song sparrow.



I couldn't pass up this cute little guy without taking a photo!





March 27, 2012

After collecting the 3rd variation of Juncos from "Big Cottonwood Park" in Salt Lake County, UT.,

I decided to post examples of what I now have.


Overcast lighting provided good detail for this

Grey-Headed Junco



The Dark-eyed Oregon Junco has been the most common for me.



With the Slate-colored Junco a close second in numbers.



March 21, 2012

Crestwood Park, Sandy, Ut.


I caught one good photo of a skittish Flicker

It turned out to be a...

Northern Red Shafted/Yellow Shafted Flicker Intergrade

(The distinguishing feature is the red stripe on the back of the head)




Update: March 27, 2012

From my bird photo archives, I just now discovered that the above Flicker intergrade

was present at Crestwood Park, since (at least) December 15, 2011


Update: March 24

More Images of Hooded Mergansers


"Mehraban Wetlands" in Draper,Utah,

March 24, 2012

I relocated the 1st Spring Drake Hooded Merganser from March 15, along

with another 1st Spring Drake and a sizeable number of other

Hooded Mergansers of various ages, seen below


Here is the relocated 1st Spring Drake Hooded Merganser



And here it is (center), with 2 female Hooded Mergansers



A second 1st Spring Drake Hooded Merganser joins from the far left

Note the beak coloration differences:

Male=black; Female=some yellow

Note the color of eyes: the males' eyes are transitioning to the adult male coloration



Here we see a 1st Spring Drake, with 2 adult Drake Hooded Mergansers



While relocating the original bird, I had the opportunity to photograph

several adult Drakes, as seen here...



and here. I was able to add a sizeable number of new images to my portfolio.

A good day!






March 15, 2012

Kennecott Nature Center, Murray/Jordan River Parkway


How an American Wigeon drake should appear...




Overcast days often work well for capturing detail, in my opinion.



A Female Mallard in the image helps when comparing size.




A Yellow-Rumped Warbler was busy catching flying insects...



A House-finch adds its color to the location...



A handsome Pintail drake provided me with numerous great images!



Reflections are another passion, along with Birds in Flight



Motion in subdued light as seen here is often difficult to capture



I have a complete series of this particular action.



This pair of Cinnamon Teal were a bit spooky



Only a very few images were possible before...



They took flight into the grey, stormy skies.







Ring-Neck Ducks...

Get Short Shrift by local bird photographers!

They are listed by birders; but I rarely see photos of them!

So here's my contribution

Notice the purple 'band' around the male's neck.. hence the name,

"Ring-necked Duck"



Here we see a male, sporting his 'ring-neck' purple/magenta coloration.



This Ring-necked duck was simply "Out-Standing"!



On March 8

I photographed more Ring-Necked ducks, Redhead duck,

Green-Winged Teal,

and an unusually marked American Wigeon


Willow Pond, Murray, UT.

A classic image of a Ring-necked Pair



Not so classic... a female Redhead joins in (center)



The ducks line up for a side-view with female Ring-neck on the left



A front-view is provided here... (L-Ringneck; R-Redhead)



A 2nd male Ringneck joins in.



And, sharing the same pond was this Green-winged Teal drake!




Willow Pond, Murray/Jordan River Parkway,

also provided images of


oddly patterned American Wigeon

trying to avoid trouble from a Pied-Billed Grebe!


(Click on the image below to see photos from

Willow Pond,

documenting the foray between Wigeon and Grebe)






February 18, 2012


Farmington Bay, Layton,


Syracuse, UT.


Redtailed Hawks scattered along the Legacy Parkway,

going toward Farmington Bay



Bald Eagles at Farmington Bay were scarce on February 18, 2012

(HERE) is a link to a Slideshow of FBMA Bald Eagles from last year.



Same birds, different angle



A Northern Harrier, sunning itself on a mild February morning...



Same Harrier, now hunting



American Kestrel, always willing to pose...



A pinioned Trumpeter Swan always makes itself available for

photography in Layton



A majestic Drake Wood duck in Layton, Ut.



Male and Female Wood ducks... Layton



Female Wood duck...

A tough target, a bit blurred... but I'll be back for another try



A Classical looking Double-Crested Cormorant,

A tad early for Spring migration

Jensen Nature Center, Syracuse, UT. February 18, 2012



Double-Crested Cormorant,

drying its outstretched wing feathers

Jensen Nature Center, Syracuse, UT.



Female Lesser Scaup, Jensen Nature Center, Syracuse





January, 2012

Goldeneyes: 2-Barrow's- (left, right);

2 Common-(center)

Jordan River, 2300 South, Salt Lake County





Bufflehead Males,

Jordan River, 2300 South, Salt Lake County



Bonaparte's Gulls... a tiny fraction of a huge flock, AIC.



January, 2012

I had considerable fun photographing a group of Canvasback Ducks on a

cloudy day at

Sandy Pond, Salt Lake County, Ut.




Two stately female Canvasbacks among others sleeping.

Overcast lighting conditions improved my images this day.



The Male Canvasbacks were outnumbered.



Had it been a sunny day, increased contrast would have ruined the detail you see here.



This handsome Drake Canvasback provided me with some cool images, seen below.



Although the light was severely reduced, I managed to get some fun images

as the Drake became airborne.



As with other diving ducks, Canvasbacks 'run' across the water to become airborne.



The bird is well on its way, leaving me and Sandy Pond for good.