Juvenile Black-billed Magpie In Flight With Food

Wish I knew what the food was…


1/1600, f/6.3, ISO 800, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM, not baited, set up or called in

Antelope Island has been very slow for birds lately but yesterday morning I did find a few juvenile Black-billed Magpies hanging out in a group near White Rock Bay. This one landed mostly buried in the sagebrush but when it came out it had something in its bill that it found deep within the plant. I have no idea what it is but obviously it was important enough to the magpie for it to carry it off.

Juvenile magpies have a different look about them compared to the adults. Their tail is significantly shorter and they’re molting now so they often have bare patches on their faces in particular. I like this shot for the flight posture, the iridescence on the wing and tail and I think the food (if that’s what it is) adds interest.

A side note: Just as I sat down to prepare this post Windows hijacked my computer and gave me no choice but to do an update which took almost 90 minutes! I was cussing Microsoft with as much venomous vitriol as I do an uncooperative raptor who flies off a millisecond before I get my lens in it (and I say that only partly tongue in cheek…).






20 comments to Juvenile Black-billed Magpie In Flight With Food

  • Laura Culley

    Yeah, Little Billy Gates’ ears should burn regularly over at my house, too. Sorry to be late, but I got to Mia’s post about a mischief of magpies(I LIKE that one) and then headed off for a day of garage saling. What fun! AND I found the two dressers I needed for my bedroom and the spare bedroom at half price! WIN!
    ANYWAY, as you know, I adore the whole corvid family and I’m disappointed that I picked a place where magpies don’t live. Harrumph!! Poor prior planning, huh?

    • Laura Culley

      I MEANT to add that the food looks like a grub to me, but as always, I could be wrong.

  • I often swear at Microsoft. And the computer more generally.
    Love, love, love your magpie though. Of course.

  • Alice Beckcom

    This magpie looks so peaceful and quiet!!! The magpies that live in our area are very noisy, especially early in the morning. The background colors enhance the beautiful shiny feathers.

    Ron, thank you for a beautiful photo in spite of your continued problems. Sorry you have to endure all of this and hope things get resolved real soon.

  • Betty Sturdevant

    Beautiful picture, interesting commentary and inspiring dialogue. I listen mostly to talk radio during the day and I feel blogs are an extension of that process. Thank you.

  • April Olson

    Lovely iridescence. I am finding fewer birds at all locations this year. What’s up? Even in my back yard the birds fledged quickly this year and have migrated a few weeks early.

  • Susan Stone

    I am so glad that my computer can’t be hijacked by Microsoft!! At least with Apple, you have a choice of when you install updates. I like this shot of the Juvenile Magpie also. I don’t recall seeing white at the base of the wings in the adults (possibly poor memory…)

  • Judy Gusick

    Must have been “important” 🙂 Our magpie young have pretty much gotten out of the yard – AMEN! Those updates are a REAL pain at times – rarely have them “just do it” as I have it set to let me know before they do it. Last one they did somehow locked up my computer – had to physically shut it off – like you I had a “choice” stream of words…………………

  • Jo Ann Donnelly

    LOVE it, Ron!! Magpies are one of my favorite birds you capture!! I’m going to guess at what this Juvie has in his bill!! At 1st I thought it might be part of a caterpillar but it looks too stiff. My next guess is some sort of seed or pod!! I have no idea what their usual food is so guessing is all I can do & you have better knowledge and vision. I wonder what others will think /she’s got!! I feel you pain with Microsoft – I’ve used a few %#$@&# words when dealing with them too!!!!!

  • Charlotte Norton

    Wonderful shot Ron!

  • Bill Lindner

    I hope posting this here does not cause any problems but I felt you might be interested in light of your recent discussions on this topic. It’s an article from dPReview discussing a lawsuit against Richard Prince for photography theft. The link is https://www.dpreview.com/news/5273582768/richard-prince-must-face-lawsuit-over-image-theft-judge-rules?ref_=pe_1674010_132618830. I really hope this might help you with your version of this problem.