Horned Lark eating sunflower seeds

/, Birds, Davis County, Horned Larks, Utah/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.



  1. Dave Sparks February 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Marvelous color scheme in this one.

    • Mia McPherson February 26, 2012 at 4:46 am

      Dave, thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Bob Zeller February 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Wonderful composition,Mia. 🙂

    • Mia McPherson February 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Thanks Bob, I was thrilled to photograph this Horned Lark on such a beautiful perch and setting.

  3. Julie Brown February 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    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.

    • Mia McPherson February 22, 2012 at 10:27 am

      You are very kind Julie! I hope that you get those close up shots of Horned Larks soon. Maybe on the island!

  4. ingrid February 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

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

    • Mia McPherson February 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

      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. Prairie Birder February 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    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!

    • Mia McPherson February 22, 2012 at 10:35 am

      PrairieBirder, I hope you see and photograph your Horned Larks soon and I also hope you will post some of those pictures on your blog!

  6. Tom @ Ohio Nature February 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    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.

    • Mia McPherson February 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Hi Tom! I see Horned Larks along roads frequently too, they like to perch on rocks or mounds of dirt. Thanks very much for your comment on this image!

  7. Tammy Karr February 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Beautiful photo Mia! The Horned Lark is gorgeous!

    • Mia McPherson February 22, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comment Tammy.

  8. Julie G. February 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

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

    • Mia McPherson February 22, 2012 at 10:38 am

      You are very kind Julie! Horned Larks are great fun to observe and photograph.

  9. Margaret Tompkins February 21, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Beautiful bird and this is an incredible photograph!!

    • Mia McPherson February 21, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks so much for visiting my site and for your wonderful comment Margaret!

  10. Jim Braswell February 21, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Lovely photo, Mia. Well done!

  11. judy watson February 21, 2012 at 6:30 am

    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.

    • Mia McPherson February 21, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Judy, thanks for commenting. I usually see them on the rocks or on signs too so I was very happy this one posed on the sunflower. They are such neat birds.

  12. Scott February 21, 2012 at 6:12 am

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

    • Mia McPherson February 21, 2012 at 6:25 am

      Thanks Scott, I hope they return for you soon! I’m lucky to have them year round here.

  13. @steve_happ February 21, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Hi Mia,

    great photo. I am loving it. 🙂


    • Mia McPherson February 21, 2012 at 6:26 am

      Thanks much for the comment Steve, he is a beautiful bird!

Comments are closed.