American Pelicans are Yawing, Streatching and Socializing

Photographing Pelicans in the clouds of gnats was not a good experience but I was hoping that gnats miraculously would not show in my photos. I was naive. There were a lot of black dots in my photographs. I cleaned some of them in Photoshop and of course paid for that with quality. Such a […]

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Killdeer on the Rocks

When I spotted this Killdeer my first thought was that he/she was nesting. Both female and male incubate so there is no way I could tell what gender was this Killdeer. The Killdeer was by the road laying on the rocks and making noise as if he/she was threatening someone. I looked around and saw […]

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May at Bear River – I. The Silent Stories

At the beginning of May there were many stories happening at Bear River. These stories were simple and silent but every one of them was unforgettable. A lonely Sandhill Crane passing by. It’s certainly not his habitat.   The family of Canada Geese with their babies are heading to the Bear River. It’s a long […]

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Long-bill Curlew is Drinking Water

Seeing for the first time how a Long-billed Curlew was drinking water was a very thrilling moment. I have never seen a Curlew near water, only in a field and was surprised to find this Curlew in the shallow water by the shore.   It’s time to get some water into bill.   Or better […]

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Swainson’s Hawk is Taking Flight

It started yesterday morning in the same fashion like one week ago. There were a few different hawks perching on the signposts but most of them weren’t very cooperative until I met this Swainson’s Hawk. After watching for a while the Hawks I noticed that I can predict sometimes their behavior, their moves and the […]

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A Lonely Sandhill Crane

I met this Sandhill Crane a few times before and he was always alone. I was hoping that the Crane’s mate was somewhere close building her nest but right now I am not sure that this Crane has a mate. The Crane landed at the place that is not his usual habitat. He even performed […]

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Snowy Egret in the Marsh

At the beginning of their arrival the Snow Egrets prefer for a while to stay in the marshes but later they will move to more open places. I also noticed that the Egrets are not so shy at the beginning but later when the breeding starts they will be more cautious. The Egret above was […]

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Short-eared Owl During Sunrise

Owls are nocturnal birds but Short-eared Owls are often active during sunrise, early mornings and evenings. The Owl I met yesterday might be the one I saw before because it was again close to the road and on the same signpost.   The Owl is ready to take off. It’s interesting that birds before taking […]

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Spring in the Wasatch Mountains – III. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds

Meeting Ruby-thoated Hummingbirds high in the mountains was a wonderful surprise. During two days I only watched them and wasn’t able to take photos because these birds were too tiny. Last Sunday I could approach them a little closer, I even had a chance to choose a better background.   I photographed this Hummingbird against […]

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Ring-necked Male and Female Pheasants

One week ago I had an opportunity to photograph the male and female Pheasants but my better shot turned out to be of the male. He was against a better background and his red head and colors were brilliant.   The female Pheasant. She is very elegant with modest plumage that helps her to blend […]

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Dark Morph Swaison’s Hawk During His Meal and After

Two days ago I met the darkest Hawk I have ever seen. He was busy eating a mouse on a poll not paying attention to what was happening around. Being able to photograph and watch this Hawk was a real treat for me. I will remember our encounter for the rest of my life.   […]

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Spring in the Wasatch Mountains – II.

There is a little heaven high in the mountains where some birds made a home. So far I saw the Western Scrub-Jays, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Mourning Dove, Lazuli Buntings and Magpies. This morning I met a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (photo above). He was perching on a dry branch greeting the morning with a beautiful song.   You […]

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Spring in the Wasatch Mountains

When I am in the mountains I hear the birds singing but often I don’t see them. Occasionally, only one of them showing up on a shrub or tree. The colorful Lazuli Bunting decided to perform a solo on the dead tree, his song was short but beautiful. Everything in the mountains is awaking slowly. […]

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Sandhill Crane is Taking Flight During Sunrise

Sunrise at Bear River starts at 6:15 am and it’s always exciting to watch how the sun rises slowly over the Wasatch mountains and paints the marshes with warm colors with reddish hue. A Crane I saw yesterday morning was alone, no mate around. He wandered for a while, he even made a few long […]

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Western Grebes. The Love Story

There will be no courtship dances in this post. No mating also. My guess is everything already happened and these Grebes has formed a loving and tender pair. Time for a little chat.   Time for a swim.   Time for a rest.   Time for a nap.   Time for whispering.   The love […]

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Cleaning Business

Snowy Egrets are already at Bear River. I photographed some of them a few days ago. Yesterday I saw again two Egrets but in a different marsh. One left immediately and the Egret above stayed for a while but unfortunately did absolutely nothing for almost thirty minutes. My patience was wearing out when the Egret […]

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Song Sparrow is Perching on Phragmites

I always wanted to see a Song Sparrow and photograph it but when I met this little bird I didn’t recognized it. Only later looking more carefully at my photos I knew that I photographed the Song Sparrow. The Song Sparrows are permanent residents in Utah.  

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Canada Geese in the Early Spring

Canada Geese aren’t every one’s favorite birds, they are loud and can be very aggressive but I love them as they are. I enjoy watching them running as they take a flight, how they court each other, how they take care of their young ones. I like hearing them as they fly over and watching […]

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Juvenile Bold Eagle. Not the Best Encounter But…

Yesterday I saw two Juvenile Bold Eagles on the field where I was never before. They were perching on the dead tree and were far far away. Walking on the open field wasn’t the best idea but I walked anyway and probably was watched carefully by Eagles. One Eagle left the tree very quickly, another […]

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Bear River in April – I.

This place is a little piece of heaven for Ducks and Coots who prefer to rest and enjoy the warmth of the sun there. Sometimes the Double-crested Cormorants are passing by but never join the crowd. It’s not their territory.  

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Red-tailed Hawk in Flight

There are two types of raptors at Bear River. The raptors who stay in the refuge during their migration and who are permanent residents. A Red-tailed Hawk lives at Bear River all year around. This was my first encounter with this raptor that started not very promising but ended up wonderfully. Somehow I managed to […]

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Ring-necked Pheasant in the Grass

I photographed this male Ring-necked Pheasant three days ago in the late evening. It was an unusual encounter because the Pheasant was fairly close to the road and didn’t run away immediately. The population of Pheasants at Bear River seem higher than usual this spring. Last year’s breeding season must have been good one for […]

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In the Golden Light

There are marshes that look so dull. They are treeless, only the tall plants surround them, their colors are pale brown. But if you happen to be at those marshes during the sunset you will be amazed how the golden light can transform something so dull and plain into wonderful and striking.   The Mallard […]

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Bear River – IV.

That was the first warm spring day. The sky was clear and blue for the first time and resembled the sea. The clouds were floating in the sky like the white weightless ships. The wind was tender and warm. That morning I “forgot” about birds and took only photos of Bear River to remember how […]

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Yellow-headed Blackbird is Looking for Food

Blackbirds are challenging subjects to photograph. They are very active and it’s difficult to exposure properly their fine black feathers. I always had a difficult time to photograph Blackbirds perching on the tall reeds but on the ground it was a little bit easier with exposure but not with composition.   Here the male Blackbird […]

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Short-eared Owl

I almost missed this Short Eared Owl who was sitting on a pole by the road. I was so excited that stopped my car abruptly and that was a major mistake. The Owl gave me one quick look and was gone. Luckily, it didn’t flew far away and I got this shot. It’s not what […]

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American Avocets Are Back!

Every spring I am waiting for arrival of Avocets. Last week I saw only a few of them but yesterday the whole gang was at Bear River. Spring has arrived!        

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Bear River in March – III.

Being at Bear River is like returning to normal life for a while and forgetting about what is happening in the world. Being at Bear River for several hours, is being in the place where the sun shines brightly, blackbirds are singing and preparing for the nesting season, where is no such thing as social […]

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Swaison’s Hawks During and After Mating

I was waiting for over a month for different raptors to come at Bear River and was happy to meet Swainson’s Hawks for the first time in my life. These raptors usually stay during winter in South America but in March they head north to find their mates, build nests, lay eggs and raise their […]

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Swainson’s Hawks Mating on the Tree

I was heading toward Bear River when I saw a female Swainson’s Hawk perching on the branch of a tall tree. She looked so beautiful in golden light. I stayed with her for a while but for a long time nothing interesting was happening and suddenly out of nowhere the male Swainson’s Hawk appeared and […]

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American White Pelicans on a Community Log

The Pelicans arrived at Bear River! I saw only two of them on a community log a few days ago. The rest are probably on Gunnison Island preparing for nesting and raising the young ones. Soon Pelicans will be at Bear River again.   These Pelicans are breeding adults. You can see the knobs on […]

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Eared Grebes at Bear River

Over the last few years I photographed Western Grebes, Pied-billed Grebes at Bear River but never Eared Grebes. The moment I saw these birds my only hope was that Eared Grebes would stay close to the shore. And surprisingly they did!   After a long dive the Eared Grebe looked a little bit different.   […]

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Great Blue Egret on a Community Log

Something is very special about this log that attracts Pelicans, Cormorants and sometimes Great Blue Herons. Pelicans and Cormorants usually share this log and stay there happily together. But Great Blues prefer to keep social distancing.    

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Saying Goodbye to Rough-legged Hawks

At the beginning of winter I was not sure would I be able to get even one photograph of Rough-legged Hawk. I didn’t know anything about their behavior, couldn’t figure out how to approach them but later things started slowly to change. Rough-legged hawks or Roughies left already Bear River MBR and migrated to the […]

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Mating Time for American Coots

At the end of March American Coots start to mate. They are monogamous and mate for life. Mating I was able to photograph started with a great show. At the beginning the male displayed his power and the female showed her willingness to mate. Then everything changed in seconds.   The female disappeared in the […]

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Aggressiveness

The male Red-winged Blackbirds can be very aggressive while displaying their territory. This male Blackbird wasn’t nicely perching on the reeds, he was showing others that this was his territory and he will fight for it fearlessly.   He constantly was spreading his wings, his voice was loud and at some point he started to […]

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Bear River in March – II.

This road I know by heart. I even dared to drive on it last winter when the road was covered with snow. I also like to walk on this road and to look at the Promontory mountains that are never the same.   There are many marshes at Bear River. It took a long time […]

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Coyote During Sunrise at Bear River

I used to see coyotes at Antelope Island but never had an opportunity to photograph them. To see a coyote walking in the marsh during sunrise at Bear River was something unexpected.     The coyote was walking in the marsh, sniffing and exploring.   Almost out of marsh but still in the mud. His […]

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Tundra Swans Lifting Off from Bear River

Last Wednesday was a very special day. I watched two Sandhill Cranes performing their courtship dance and I was able to photograph Tundra Swans. What I didn’t know about swans that before they will take off they need a long, open “runway”.   The Tundra swans run fast with their wings flapping.     They […]

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Male Ring-necked Pheasant at Bear River MBR

Yesterday morning was cold and there was frost on the ground. While driving to Bear river I spotted a male Ring-necked Pheasant. He was establishing his territory that he will protect fearlessly. Usually, the pheasants establish their territory in early spring.  

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Double-crested Cormorants are Back!

Sometimes Double-crested Cormorants stay at Bear river during winter but this winter I didn’t see any of them. Yesterday I was surprised to see a Double-crested Cormorant sitting on his favorite log all by himself. Cormorants are back!   The Cormorant was drying his wings. At some moment he gave me a curious look and […]

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The Bear River MBR in March – I.

Yesterday I discovered two trails at Bear River Migratory Bird refuge and explored them. The day was warm and sunny, the Bear river was peaceful. Soon pelicans will arrive and then avocets. The Double-crested Cormorants are already in the refuge.  

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Male Red-winged Blackbirds Started to Sing

A few days ago I went to Farmington Bay to listen to the male Blackbirds’ songs. At the end of February they start to sing displaying their territory. Female Blackbirds arrive much later in March. Right now there are plenty of Blackbirds singing, displaying and chasing each other. When females will arrive they will carry […]

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Tundra Swans, Ring-billed Gulls and Canada Geese

I am celebrating the arrival of Tundra swans at Bear river but a little bit disappointed because swans were far away from the shore and Ring-billed gulls were close and I photographed mostly gulls.     Tundra swans and Canada geese are adoring the scenery at Bear River.   One happy family of five.  

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Perceptions

When I saw this heron in the middle of the frozen river my first impulse was to photograph him tight. But the longer I look the more I saw how isolated and lonely he was.   And then I took photo of heron using zoom and everything changed. A feeling of isolation and loneliness was […]

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Pied-billed Grebes at Farmington Bay

Last time I photographed Pied-billed grebes several months ago and was so glad to see these birds again. I spent almost an hour just watching them and photographing. Grebes were diving (they are the long divers) for food, preening, fighting and having a good time.   Bathing. A grebe is splashing water around to moisten […]

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Immature Black-crowned Night Heron at Farmington Bay

At the beginning I didn’t see the heron. He was almost invisible. The heron found the place where he could be safe and enjoy the warmth of the sun. This place became his favorite. In the mornings the heron sleeps there and in the nights he is active. It’s still cold in the mornings but […]

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Chaos

I took this photo last December and never posted it. I couldn’t decide was it worthwhile to post or not. Returning back from Bear River I saw many Blackbirds flying in a chaotic way over the bare trees. There were so many of them that I was mesmerized by their silent chaotic flight.  

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