Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged hawks are fascinating birds. Somehow they found the way to Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and stay there during the coldest, the harshest winter months. When winter will be over these raptors migrate to the arctic Tundra where they raise their young ones. And then another December will come and Bear river will welcome […]

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With Mama and Without

Recently I looked through my archives and found these photographs. They were taken last July when most birds in the refuge were raising their young ones.    

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Feather Style

He looked so funny with his feathers sticking up and then he twisted his neck in an odd way and stayed like this for a while.   Herons never stop surprising me.  

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The Story of Cooper’s Hawk

I was leaving Antelope Island when I saw a hawk in the dry grass. He seemed alert but not much. I took a few photos and thought that my encounter with the hawk was over but it was only the beginning of my “hunt”.     The hawk flew to a nearby sign but not […]

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House Wren

Our winter this year is so gloomy and foggy that I am waiting for spring with its clear blue sky, warmth and nesting birds. I digged into my archives and found this photograph of House Wren that was taken last September. The House Wren was perching on the plant and looked so determined. I believe […]

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More About American Kestrel

Another day before entering Bear river migratory bird refuge I was again greeted by an American kestrel perching on one of the fence posts along the roadway looking for its next meal.       Our American kestrels are permanent residents at Bear river. During cold winter months small rodents are the major source of […]

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What Landing is This?

The landing certainly wasn’t awkward but looked that way. Every movement was precise and thought through. Keeping his wings down and head hidden a heron looked rather funny.     Landed with his feet bent and wings still down.   A heron is ready to fish.  

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Fighting for Territory on a Foggy Morning

Last Monday I left my home on a sunny morning but when I approached the Bear river refuge I was driving in a dense fog. I am glad that I didn’t return back because I saw Herring gulls and was able to photograph them. *** Landing was beautiful but the gull’s intention wasn’t peaceful.   […]

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Breakfast on Ice

It’s not easy to fish on ice but this heron was very good at his fishing. The method catching fish was rather simple. Ready to dive. Wings are up, legs bend.   Diving only with his head. I believe that herons keep their eyes open underwater.     Got fish and immediately takes off. That […]

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In Flight

First time a Great Blue heron was flying toward me and it was happening in seconds. The shot came out odd but fortunately I didn’t cut both heron’s wings. That day herons were more cooperative than usual.   Flying low with wings down. Amazing how these birds can do it.  

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Collecting Stories About Great Blue Herons

Last Sunday at Bear river I decided to collect stories about Great Blue herons. They are incredible birds and I am learning more and more about their behavior. This heron I found in a very unusual place. There was no water around, only snowy marsh. The heron was resting on a pile of dry grass […]

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Young Guys

Last Thursday was the warmest day in our cold winter and Antelope island was peaceful without any breeze. It almost felt like autumn. When I saw young bisons running my first thought was how funny they run but later I changed my mind. They run smoothly in spite of their huge and heavy bodies. And […]

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Solo Dance

This Great Blue heron performs the best solo dance I have ever seen. Ice on the Bear river makes it difficult for heron to balance. Winter is hard on herons and other birds who stay at refuge all year around but they learned how to survive it.  

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Big Guys

Antelope Island is our state park, it’s also a home for bisons. We have up to 700 bisons on island. Two days ago I was on island hoping to see a coyote or burrowing owls, instead I saw a herd of bisons who were coming down the hill with their youngsters.      

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Young Guys

Young bisons are very obedient and always try to stay close to their mama but sometimes they break the rules and have a great time playing and running. Here is play time starts   and continues.   Running down the hill to join other bisons.   Stopped for a short conversation.   Playing heads.  

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Permanent Resident at Bear River

In winter the Bear river is frozen and only a few places left where Great Blue herons can get their food. They have to be very patient and wait for hours standing still to catch fish.       Great Blue herons got used to our cold winters, they live at Bear river all year […]

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Looking for Prey

If you have ever seen a Rough-legged hawk you noticed how low he flies over the ground searching for food. He scans the ground for every movement and then he immediately drops down on his prey.   These birds hunt a lot for rodents during the winter at Bear river. It’s believed to be their […]

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American Kestrel at Bear River

My first photograph of American Kestrel I took three years ago and since that I have never seen this bird again. Two days ago was my chance to take more photos of this beautiful bird but at the begging I almost missed this opportunity because all my equipment was already packed.   When I repacked […]

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Rough-Legged Hawk at Bear River

Winter is a time for hawks in Northern Utah. For immature hawks it is their first winter and a lot of them will not make it through. That makes me very sad. The hawk above is gymnast.     This one was more alert. Sometimes he gave me a look “why are you here”. *** […]

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Fighting

Birds fight for food, over food, to defend their territory or to see off a rival for their breeding partner. Sometimes female also fight but occasionally. Mostly males. Some birds are very aggressive and among them are avocets. This guy descended nicely, announced his territory to everybody who was around, noticed a White-face ibis nearby […]

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Hey Guys, Where Are You Going

I always photograph Mallard ducks when I am at the Beau pond but very rare when they are in action. It’s extremely difficult to photograph ducks in flight; they beat their wings fast and they are small. Here are three male ducks and one female are taking off and heading South . They are a […]

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Green-Winged Teal

Green-winged teals live at Bear river all year around but in summer you don’t see them often because they breed and nest. I saw this male teal a few days ago. He found a little spot that wasn’t frozen completely and was there for a while. He was standing on the thin ice but not […]

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Early Morning Breakfast

In June 2019 I photographed a lot of Snowy egrets. There were numerous of them in the refuge at Bear river fishing alongside with White-faced ibises and Great Blue herons.   This egret is eating his breakfast. He swallows it almost immediately after catching.  

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Pied-billed Grebe

I have never seen Pied-billed grebes at Bear river but last October I met one of them. Luckily, this grebe didn’t disappear in the water for a long time. These birds have a nickname “hell divers” for their long dives. Pied-billed grebes are nocturnal migrant birds. You don’t see them often in flight but they […]

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Ordinary Moments

On this cold icy morning I tried to collect simple ordinary moments that spoke to me. There is poetry in dry flowers that always speak in a soft voice.   This morning the clouds surrounded my favorite tree and enveloped it to keep warm.   A dry flower like this one is always open to […]

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Notes to Self – I. Not a Holga But…

There was a time when I wanted to do film photography, to buy the cheap Holga camera, to learn how to convert film into digital and simply have fun. I almost did it. Almost. I didn’t buy the Holga camera. Instead, I found on Amazon an antique cheap lens and started to work with it. […]

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Immature Swallows

The soft morning light was on my side when I took these pictures of immature swallows. These little ones weren’t pretty yet but soon they would be beautiful, more careful and less trusting. Well, I have a difficult time identify these little ones. I checked a list of swallows at Bear river and only mature […]

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Showing Flying and Landing Skills

At the beginning of last summer I watched how Killdeer was pirouetting in front of me showing his flying and landing skills and then making himself handsome and clean.    

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Flying Trio

Sometimes you are lucky with moments like this one. I wish I would have them more often.  

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Sparrows

There are so many species of sparrows that they have a reputation of being “difficult”, difficult to see well and difficult to identify. I believe that I photographed House sparrows (first and second pictures) and a Swamp sparrow.   A House sparrow.   A Swamp sparrow.   Farmington Bay in November.  

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Fish for Breakfast

Everyone at Bear river has a favorite spot for fishing, perching and resting. Thus, this heron found a little swamp at Bear river for his breakfasts. Aha, caught fish! I was sure that he would swallow it immediately but he surprised me. He decided to walk with fish and I had no idea where he […]

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The Incredibly Long-legged Black-necked Stilt

It’s so easy to recognized this bird with its shiny black wings and its long bright red legs. At first glance males and females stilts look alike but when these birds are in their breeding plumage you can tell the difference between a male and female. The male has solid shiny black back while the […]

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Juvenile Black-Crowned Night Heron

I photographed this young heron in September at Bear river at the same spot where Great Blue herons usually were fishing. Young night herons are so different from adults. They are not as colorful as they will be when they mature. *** Night herons like to nest in colonies sometimes sharing the same trees. Chicks […]

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Being Playful or Mean?

The immature ibises are funny birds to watch. They play, fight and often behave very foolishly. This ibis decided to join others. He landed nicely but immediately was attacked by another ibis. The mean ibis is acting strangely. It’s not so easy to escape when someone is holding your leg. There is always a choice […]

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Sandhill Cranes at Bear River

That particular morning in August at Bear river was full of surprises. First I was thrilled to see two Sandhill Cranes that is a very rare occurrence then later I spotted a flock of Turkey Vultures.    

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Indian Summer in Snow Basin

A few weeks I took my old camera and went to Snow Basin for a hike and to enjoy the last warm autumn days. First the mountain aspens greeted me. They are not tall and beautiful as birches but they are very hardy.   Black-capped chickadees were still in the mountains where they spent all […]

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Early Morning at Bear River

Early mornings at Bear river were always cool and pleasant in summer. Sometimes I left my camera in the car and walked along the river a mile or two, enjoying a light summer breeze.   A Barn swallow decided to rest for a while.   A Canada goose does a little stretch.   A Great […]

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Sunrise at Bear River

That early morning at Bear River I thought that light makes color and color makes light. I also thought is it possible to free color that it would convey only your emotions and thoughts and nothing else. I think that it is possible but it has to be color that is able to speak for […]

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Two

The pair of Killdeers found a nice spot to enjoy early morning at Bear River. They will stay there for a while and soon they will be gone.    

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A Hummingbird

Every summer I am looking for hummingbirds. At the same spot and by the same flowers. This time I saw only one hummingbird. Love the saying that one is better than nothing.    

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Finally

I tried over two last years to capture Great Blue Heron in flight and wasn’t successful. Finally, I got two pictures of this majestic bird in flight.  

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A Young Pheasant

Finally, I was able to take one decent photo of a young pheasant. Luckily, this guy wasn’t in a big hurry to disappear into grass and was for a few seconds very relaxed.  

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Fighting and Playing

The young Black-Necked Stilts not matured yet. Soon they will start to migrate but meanwhile they are acting sometimes so foolishly. They fight and play.   And then they are so peaceful and poise like their parents.  

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A Traverler -II.

I can’t stop thinking about the Brown Pelican who mysteriously found the way to Bear River that is so far from his normal habitat. I hope that the wandering pelican will find his way back home where he can join other Brown Pelicans, where he will mate and have a long and healthy life.   […]

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A Traveler -I.

Today I saw and photographed a Brown Pelican at Bear River that is a real Utah rarity. How this Brown Pelican found his way to Bear river is a mystery. The Brown Pelican found two favorite spots, two big logs. I was lucky this morning that he chose a log that was close to the […]

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Bear River Before Sunrise – II.

When I arrived at Bear river it was still dark and I had to wait for sunrise for almost an hour. I miscalculated the time when the sun would rise and found myself in the odd situation of not knowing what to do. Should I have a nap in my car and wait for sunrise […]

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What’s Up?

A story about a confused gull and a funny looking ibis? Sometimes birds interact in a very interesting and unpredictable way.  

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Sunrise at Bear River – I.

There is always a story in every sunrise you watch. Each day when the sun rises a new story begins. Nature slowly awakes from its night sleep, the sun paints everything with its golden soft light. It’s life! It’s a new awakening.  

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With Mama

The young mama was so caring, so protective of her little calf. She licked him from time to time with love and tenderness and she was watching her baby very carefully never letting him go of her sight. That was maternal love, strong and beautiful.    

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I Would Rather Stay With Mama

Mama warmly greets her baby who wasn’t very comfortable being far away from her. Yes, with mama always safe. It’s fun to explore the world when mama is close. *** I had a great time watching and photographing very young Black-necked stilts.  

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