Return to Main Page   Dakota Birder Blog    

Nature Photography - Done Naturally

Black-billed Magpie

Pica hudsonia

One benefit to traveling for work is that I sometimes take a day or two of my own time to explore a region and take photos. In January of 2017, I had meetings in Bozeman, Montana, and decided to take a quick 2-day trip down to Yellowstone. One morning I was in the Lamar Valley in the northern part of the park, when I came across three massive bull Bison, dozing close to the side of the road.  The temperature at the time was close to 20-below, and it was somewhat surreal seeing the steamy breath around the 3 sleeping giants. As I was taking photos, a Black-billed Magpie flew into the scene, and much to my delight, landed on the head of one of the Bison! For a while, the Bison didn't seem to mind as the Magpie hung out in the coarse fur.  The Magpie started searching through the fur with its bill...curious, since I can't imagine there were any insects or other food items present on a 20-below morning.  The Bison grew increasingly frustrated by the bird's movements, and finally with a great shake of its head, the bird was gone. During the action I was able to grab several photos, and I must say in all the thousands of photos in my collection, this is the ONLY bird photo that has such a unique perch.

Black-billed Magpie and Bison - Pica hudsonia

Click here for more information on this species

Prints of this photo are available through the following ordering dialogue.
Includes option for mounting print on foam-core or other backing material

Note I MUST have a photo name, or a copy of this page's URL in the 2nd space. 
Example (Option) #1 - Enter "Red-tailed Hawk 1"
Example (Option) #2 - Enter ""

Size and Matting Option
Enter Photo Name or URL

All photos copyrighted!  Click for information on commerical usage, or usage for other personal purposes.

Use the following Google dialogue to search this South Dakota Birds and Birding site:
Custom Search


Please mail any comments/suggestions/additional links for this page to: Terry L. Sohl