Open Air Concert of a Western Meadowlark Singing from a Sagebrush

Western Meadowlark singing from a SagebrushWestern Meadowlark singing from a Sagebrush – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, not baited or called in

Yesterday was a bit like a wonderful open air concert on Antelope Island with the calls of Curlews, Willets, Chukars, Red-winged Blackbirds and Western Meadowlarks floating through the air.  Some of the birds are still skittish but there were a few cooperative Western Meadowlarks yesterday that sang on top of the Sagebrush which have already sprouted their pale silvery-green leaves. The Meadowlark above was on a sage brush near the shore of the Great Salt Lake. In the background the grayish-tan is the sand along the shore and the blue in the upper part of the frame is actually the lake not the sky.

Sure, there are natural open air concerts for all 365 days of the year on Antelope Island State Park but after a long winter the spring concerts seem livelier, clearer and louder!


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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. Pingback: A Willet on a Sagebrush

  2. No Meadowlark I’ve ever heard has needed a microphone…and judging by the open beak on that one, he doesn’t need one either…sure wish I could attend that concert! Apparently, a fried heard an Eastern Meadowlark singing somewhere not too far from where I live only a few weeks ago…so there’s hope!

  3. Mia, how I miss that concert! And when I lived there before I would not have known the curlew’s call. How I would love to hear it now! I love this picture, and this bird!

  4. What a wonderful image.
    Came over through Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp FB page.

  5. Oh MY!! Stole my heart!!! lol. One of my favorite birds.

  6. The sort of concert I never, ever tire of hearing. Thanks Mia.

  7. That is incredible! That image is incredible. I love the bird with his beak open……clarity clarity clarity. I need to get a stronger focused lens to keep that detail. Your pics always inspire.

  8. Jane Chesebrough

    So nice to hear the sounds again. Love the brilliance of the yellow!

  9. Humming Bird Lover


    love the colors and such a beautiful bird! Great work!

  10. I love the pose, perch and background. As you know, the Open Air Concert changes with the seasons. The seasonal song of male passerine birds has been the focus of much research. Song production waxes and wanes with the seasonal cycle of testicular growth and secretion of testosterone. A decrease in singing activity is associated with the testicular regression that occurs in the autumn. Interestingly, these seasonal changes in song are accompanied by anatomical changes in the brain regions involved in the control of song. Your post has motivated me to try to catch up on recent developments in research on this topic.

    • Interesting comments Dave. And I think everyone knows he sings to defend nesting territory. The Eastern Meadowlark looks very similar but has a very different song and call notes; where their range overlaps the Western Meadowlark in the midwest and southwest, they almost nerver interbred, and seem to see each other as rivals. [Kenn Kaufman—Lives of North American Bierds] I agree, it’s a wonderful image.

  11. Beautiful singing voice.

  12. AWWWW!!!!! Gorgeous capture, Mia … he’s just loving life isn’t he!!!

  13. Love it!
    I’ve never gotten one at this angle before.
    Awesome, Mia.
    Love the Meadowlarks!

  14. O sole mio!!! Beautiful picture :)

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