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 cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [2784 Views]
  2. POLL: Should South Africa’s canned hunting industry be banned? [1871 Views]
  3. POLL: Should Mozambique’s wildlife park be funded by trophy hunting? [1372 Views]
  4. POLL: Should the use of elephants for “entertainment” be banned? [1195 Views]
  5. Bald Eagle Adopts Baby Hawk Instead of Eating Him [910 Views]
  6. POLL: Should wildlife-killing “cyanide bombs” be banned? [895 Views]
  7. POLL: Should Yellowstone Grizzlies be removed from the Endangered List? [855 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the use of wild animals in circuses be banned? [843 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the owning of exotic pets be banned? [743 Views]
  10. POLL: Should Asia’s elephant tourism be banned? [741 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16897 Views]
  2. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11095 Views]
  3. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [10209 Views]
  4. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8688 Views]
  5. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8233 Views]
  6. POLL: Should the killing of giraffes be outlawed? [4710 Views]
  7. POLL: Should the sale of elephant ivory be legalized? [4081 Views]
  8. POLL: Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets? [3768 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the coyote continue to be exterminated? [3448 Views]
  10. POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [2784 Views]