During my recent wildlife photography adventure, my good friend and fellow photographer Mia McPherson drove me to the beautiful Wasatch Mountains in Utah. To my delight, we came upon a stunning male MacGillivray’s Warbler, which I had the privilege to photograph.

Male MacGillivray’s Warbler
Male MacGillivray’s Warbler

What I found especially unique about Mia’s approach to photography was her technique for two people to photograph from the same vehicle. Instead of both of us sitting in the front, the second person sat behind the driver, which provided us with equal opportunities to capture the same subject without any obstruction.

While I have been fortunate to observe many bird species in my photography endeavors, this was my first time encountering a MacGillivray’s Warbler. Intrigued, I decided to delve into the species when I returned to my home in Arkansas.

MacGillivray’s Warbler is a migratory bird species that breeds in western North America and winters in Mexico and Central America. They are known for their striking black hood and throat, which is set against a bright yellow breast and grayish-green back. The female MacGillivray’s Warbler has similar markings, although they are less vivid.

Interestingly, MacGillivray’s Warbler prefers to breed in dense shrubbery or bushes, particularly in wet meadows and mountain forests. They are particularly active during the early morning hours, making it a challenge to photograph them in low light conditions.

Overall, my experience photographing the MacGillivray’s Warbler was a fantastic learning opportunity. Not only did I capture some stunning shots, but I also gained a greater appreciation for this remarkable bird species and the importance of careful observation and research in wildlife photography.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: RF 800 mm f/11 IS STM


  • Location: Wasatch Mountains (Utah)
  • Date and Time Taken: June 2, 2022 (11:09 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f11
  • Shutter speed: 1/3200
  • ISO: 1600 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation: -0.7
  • Focal Length: 800 mm

Here is another bird from that trip: Broad-tailed Hummingbird In Utah