Horned Lark eating sunflower seeds

Usually I see Horned Larks eating on the ground which presents the photographic challenges of trying to obtain an image without some type of vegetation in the foreground obstructing parts of the bird which can be frustrating.

Male Horned Lark eating sunflower seeds

 Male Horned Lark eating sunflower seeds – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Yesterday I was delighted to be able to photograph this male Horned Lark perched high on dried sunflower seed heads as it ate.

I always see far more male Horned Larks than females and I continue to wonder why. Perhaps the females stay more hidden in the grasses while the males prefer to be perched higher to sing.

Territorial disputes have started to occur here in Utah with the males chasing each other in flight then the victor sings from a perch. I suspect that over the next few weeks I will have plenty of opportunities with these lovely birds.

Spring is in the air.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Marvelous color scheme in this one.

  2. Wonderful composition,Mia. :-)

  3. Another one of my favorite birds! You have the best photos of them I have ever seen. I actually got to see and photograph this species back in January in a corn field in Indiana. Not as close as I would have liked, but maybe next time.

  4. I’ve never seen a Horned Lark and, judging by the comments here, a photograph like this is quite difficult to acquire. :)

    • Thanks much for your comment Ingrid. Horned Larks can be a challenge in some areas of the country to get close to, I’m fortunate that the ones here are often approachable.

  5. The Horned Larks will arrive in about a month and I can’t wait to see them, I’ll only hope to get as nice a photo as yours!

  6. Awesome photo Mia- I’ve never been able to get even close to a horned lark- they’re high on my list of birds to photograph. I see them frequently in the winter along the roads when I’m driving.

  7. Beautiful photo Mia! The Horned Lark is gorgeous!

  8. Fantastic image, Mia! It’s always fun to observe the Horned Larks foraging on the beach here in Chicago. Awesome photography, as usual!

  9. Beautiful bird and this is an incredible photograph!!

  10. Lovely photo, Mia. Well done!

  11. Very nice. I have only seen them on the rocks and signs,
    But on the signs they pose for me. I can pull right up and take as many pics I want.

  12. Very nice image, Mia. I’m looking forward to seeing Horned Larks again as Spring approaches.

  13. Hi Mia,

    great photo. I am loving it. :)


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