Western Meadowlarks Are Very Active Right Now – They Know Spring Has Arrived

/, Antelope Island State Park, Davis County, Utah, Western Meadowlarks/Western Meadowlarks Are Very Active Right Now – They Know Spring Has Arrived

Western Meadowlark calling while walking on a rusty signWestern Meadowlark calling while walking on a rusty sign – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

After a cold and very dreary winter the days are now much warmer, the grasses have begun to turn green and the bird activity on Antelope Island is starting to pick up. Spring migrants are starting to arrive including Say’s Phoebes and Sage Thrashers and I keep expecting to hear the curlews calling over the grasslands.

The Western Meadowlarks are very active right now on the island, searching for insects, scurrying through the grasses and singing their hearts out from their favorite perches.

Western Meadowlark perched on GreasewoodWestern Meadowlark perched on Greasewood – Nikon D500, f8, 1/800, ISO 250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The population of Western Meadowlarks on the island is increasing as the meadowlarks that migrated slightly further south join the hardier ones that stuck it out through the winter.

Western Meadowlark with a caterpillar on bison manureWestern Meadowlark with a caterpillar on bison manure – Nikon D500, f9, 1/640, ISO 320, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The meadowlarks are finding newly emerged insects and caterpillars to feast on, even poking around or turning over the bison manure might help them find something to eat. They will need all the energy they can get for the breeding season.

Western Meadowlark close upWestern Meadowlark close up – Nikon D500, f9, 1/640, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

They will sing from the tops of signs, bushes, the ground or from a rock perch. They have begun to search for a mate to breed, nest and raise their young.

Western Meadowlark in late winter (or early spring)Western Meadowlark in late winter (or early spring) – Nikon D500, f9, 1/500, ISO 320, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The calendar might say that winter is still here but these birds know that spring has made its appearance and are taking advantage the longer days, the warmth and the lack of snow on the ground.

Western Meadowlark wing liftWestern Meadowlark wing lift – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I’m enjoying the warmer weather too and the increasing number of birds on Antelope Island and the rest of northern Utah. It might snow again but it won’t last for long, spring has arrived.

Life is good.

Mia

10 Comments

  1. Catherine March 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Wonderful birds. They already know that spring is coming… I like the colours, would like to hear sing in the meadows. Thank you Mia. Life is wonderful

  2. Catherine March 20, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Wonderful birds. They already know that spring is coming… I like the colours, ould like to hear sing in the meadows. Thank you Mia. Life is wonderful

  3. Pepe Forte March 16, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    What a wonderful set of pics! Probably the best I have ever seen of the meadowlark. And your commentary is, as always, thoughtful and informative. Thanks Mia.

  4. Elephant's Child March 15, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Love your harbingers of Spring.

  5. Utahbooklover March 15, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    These are all wonderful images. While the east suffers a late winter storm, we enjoy an early spring!

  6. Jerry Ellison March 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    great shots Mia…every one!!

  7. M. Bruce March 15, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Nice series!

  8. Patty Chadwick March 15, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I know the first one is a Meadowlark because it’s singing (and dancing) but not sure about the others…like the colors inbthe rusty sign…like my father, an artist/illustrator, I think rust is beautiful…a great series. Amazing how those thin teigs of greasewood can support that bird, even though it weighs practically nothing….

  9. Illona Rauwolf March 15, 2017 at 8:26 am

    I simply love your blog. I learn so much. A life goal….to take photos of birds as good as yours. Thank you

  10. Kim March 15, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Love these!

Comments are closed.