Jun 172012
 

There weren’t many birds present at the San Rafael Swell Recreation Site in central Utah this past week, the San Rafael River seemed lower than I have seen it and there was evidence of drought conditions, mainly in the vegetation there.

The greasewoods looked yellow instead of the vibrant green I remember from the past two years, plants that are normally flowering weren’t and many of those plants appeared stunted.

It wasn’t a complete wash though because I did come back with some juvenile Common Raven (Corvus corax) images that I like.

There was a family of ravens making a racket in and near the campsite which was right next to the two bridges over the San Rafael River, at one point I counted at least six birds, there may have been more.

The Swinging Bridge is no longer used for vehicle traffic but it is safe for foot traffic. It was built in 1938 and was the only bridge at the site until the early 1990′s.

Juvenile Common Raven back view – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 322mm, natural light, not baited

Calling juvenile Common Raven – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

One of the juvenile Ravens perched on a fence near the Swinging Bridge, the light was challenging because it was filtered through the leaves of old Cottonwood trees creating dappled light on the fence and bird while the background of greasewood and Navajo sandstone was in full sun. Surprisingly I did not need to use any exposure compensation with this image or the following one to get nice detail in the dark plumage without blowing out the background.

Common Raven juvenile by the San Rafael River – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 314mm, natural light, not baited

This bird is easily identifiable as a juvenile Common Raven because of the short tail, the pink on the gape and the violet-blue eyes. I have images of Black-billed Magpie juveniles; also Corvids, with similarly colored eyes here. I’m not sure if other Corvid juveniles exhibit the same trait.

Mia McPherson, OntheWingPhotography.com

Share on social media:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Mia McPherson

Mia McPherson

Mia McPherson is a nature lover, wildlife watcher and an avian photographer. Mia first become serious about bird photography when she moved to Florida in 2004. Her recent move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and photographing them. With so many birds species there easily accessible it wasn’t long before she was hooked. By learning more about each species, she can anticipate their behaviour and create opportunities to obtain ever better images of those species.

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

avatar
wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should the export of elephants to China be banned? [2014 Views]
  2. POLL: Should the slaughter of badgers be allowed to continue? [1376 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the slaughter of Borneo’s pygmy elephants be stopped? [1102 Views]
  4. New year, new birds: 10 newly-recognised species [1047 Views]
  5. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [970 Views]
  6. This man has just broken the record for most bird species seen in a year [897 Views]
  7. New Estimate: There are Over 18,000 Bird Species on Earth [726 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the Hawksbill turtle trade be closed down? [722 Views]
  9. POLL: Should orca entertainment shows be universally banned? [719 Views]
  10. Kissing cows are to blame for bovine TB – so stop this bloody badger cull [695 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [41997 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16721 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [13917 Views]
  4. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [13716 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11108 Views]
  6. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [9963 Views]
  7. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8544 Views]
  8. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8295 Views]
  9. POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8033 Views]
  10. POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7356 Views]