Colorado Report: Marmots and Magpies

July 5, 2015

During my visit to the mountains of Colorado I saw yellow-bellied marmots and black-billed magpies every day. One thing they had in common was personality. The marmots would often pose for the camera as if trying to look their best, and the magpies found interesting perches around the neighboring ranch roads. The featured image is of a marmot checking Alan and me out as we hiked up Elliot’s ridge. Alan spotted other marmots on the mountain, sometimes several of them together, but I was so busy with pika I missed out on some great shots. Alan was always watching for marmots, everywhere we went, just as I do for deer and turkey in Missouri.


I’ve observed magpies on previous trips out west, but I had never been able to pin one down until now. This mature bird lighted on a fence post as Alan was driving me around in search of the long-tailed beauties. The light was tough but I managed to get a decent shot. As you can see, the dynamic range of the magpie’s colors is a challenge for photography. As usual, I just exposed for the white and waited until the bird turned its dark head into the sun. This process, which requires a little patience, always works like a charm for me, especially on ducks. I also found a fresh batch of magpie fledglings on Alan’s property by the blue river. The were kind of goofy with their short tails and calico chests. I’ll post an image or two on my website when I get a chance. All four of them liked to hang out in the same tree.

Thanks for looking,


Email:  NatureFrames@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images:  Here

4 comments on “Colorado Report: Marmots and Magpies”

  1. One is an animal I’ve seen before, but rarely seen such a good image of; another, a bird whose cousin I’ve seen often in India, but not seen here. I give you 3 C’s, Danny…..your report card reads, Consistency, Clarity, and Crispness 😀

  2. That’s a great pose in the first photo.

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