Western Meadowlarks and Spring

/, Davis County, Utah, Western Meadowlarks/Western Meadowlarks and Spring

Tis the season of changes,  for a bit it acts like winter and soon switches to act like spring.  The flute like call of Western Meadowlarks is a sound I associate with spring and lately I have been hearing them quite often.

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) with the Great Salt Lake in the background Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) with the Great Salt Lake in the background –  Nikon D300, f9, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

The Western Meadowlark is the state bird of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon and Wyoming, only the Northern Cardinal is the state bird for more states. During warmer months Western Meadowlarks feed on a variety of insects and during winter they feed on seeds and berries. These birds can live up to ten years.

For many years Eastern and Western Meadowlarks were thought to be the same species, when the species were split Western Meadowlarks were given the species name neglecta because it has been neglected for so long.

I photographed this bird two days as it sat perched and singing on a rock with the Great Salt Lake in the background. Western Meadowlarks and Spring seem to go together extremely well.

Mia

9 Comments

  1. Julie Brown February 18, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Awesome feather detail on this handsome bird, Mia. Love the background too. I have yet to see an Eastern Meadowlark, and I was too far away from a couple of westerns when I was on Antelope Island.

    • Mia McPherson February 18, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Julie, I hope that when you return to Antelope Island you’ll be able to get some close up shots of Western Meadowlarks. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Kathleen Finnerty February 17, 2012 at 4:00 am

    I agree with Bob – after viewing both perspectives, I really like this over-the-shoulder image. It’s not a capture very many bird photographers consider and the body posture provides much more interest than the static straight-on shot or typical portrait. Great!

    • Mia McPherson February 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Kathy, thanks for commenting, I love to hear what other people think about poses & composition.

  3. Linda Rockwell February 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    This is beautiful Mia. The feather detail is exquisite!

    • Mia McPherson February 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm

      Linda, thanks for your comment. These Meadowlarks have such beautiful patterns to their feathers.

  4. Bob Zeller February 16, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I love the rear perspective that you took on this photo. It really shows the detail of the feathers.

    • Mia McPherson February 16, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks Bob, I enjoy getting photos with that over the shoulder look back from the bird and the feather patterns on the back of Western meadowlarks are so intricate and lovely.

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