The merry lark he soars on high, No worldly thought o’ertakes him. He sings aloud to the clear blue sky, And the daylight that awakes him. Hartley Coleridge

Male Horned Lark displayingMale Horned Lark displaying

Hartley Coleridge lived in England from 1796 to 1849 and I’m certain he wasn’t writing about the Larks we have in North America but I thought it was a suitable quote for a post on larks. The only native true lark that lives and breeds in North America is the Horned Lark. The male above was photographed in Tooele County, Utah a few days ago as he displayed on top of a rock. I didn’t see a female nearby but perhaps he did.

Female Lark BuntingFemale Lark Bunting

Another bird with “lark” in its name is the Lark Bunting which is actually in the sparrow family. I photographed this female (please correct me if I am wrong in case this is a non-breeding male) at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Montana in June of 2011. So far the only opportunity I have had to photograph this species is the day I took this image.

Lark SparrowLark Sparrow

The Lark Sparrow earns its name by singing like a lark and I am expecting their return to Utah any day now. I love that Harlequin pattern on their faces. This Lark Sparrow was photographed last May on Antelope Island State Park.

Western MeadowlarkWestern Meadowlark

Western Meadowlarks aren’t larks or sparrows, they are Icterids but they sing like a lark too. This one was photographed yesterday on Antelope Island State Park. Right now they are singing on territory and they don’t seem able to stop them selves from singing even when they are hunting or eating food.

There is a small breeding population of Sky Larks that were introduced near Vancouver that originated from Britain, Sky Larks that are seen elsewhere are likely vagrants from Asia.



  1. Mia McPherson April 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Many thanks for all your comments on the “lark” post. All of these are amazing birds with beautiful songs.

  2. Tami April 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Lovely collection of lark images, Mia!

  3. Sally Wood April 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Gorgeous pics, Mia! Its nice to see the little pretties up so close!

  4. Azstu April 5, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Great Series Mia

  5. Rick Phillips April 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Beautiful series of “lark” shots! All wonderful birds.


  6. Linda Green April 5, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Mia, I was flabbergasted when saw your post this morning. I have a recent pix of a bird and have been looking all over to see what it is…out at Lake Mead in las vegas! I had not ever seen this before….what a wonderful coincidence you posted a photo of Male Horned Lark!!!!!!!!!!! Thanx soooooo much….I LOVE your site!!!!!!!

  7. Merrill Ann Gonzales April 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Dear Mia, I can’t tell you the number of times the information I’ve received from your field notes has enriched and enlarged my understanding especially in the world of birds. This is a prime example. I had heard that there were larks breeding in this area, and it caused me to be sceptical about it, since I couldn’t imagine Western Meadowlarks around here. Now I know what they were talking about… and hope some day to see a real one and even more hopefully, maybe get a chance to photo it. Many thanks.

  8. Dave Sparks April 5, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Neat series. Beautiful photos.

  9. Sherry in MT April 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

    The horned lark is cute but be still my heart for a meadowlark. Heard many of them on my way to a friend’s last night and just makes MY heart sing.

  10. Wally April 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Another wonderful post with superb quality photographs!
    When we lived in Europe, we were in awe of the Skylark courtship flight while singing their wonderful song.

    The local Meadowlarks are doing the same as yours, singing no matter what else is happening!

  11. Sam Brunson April 5, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Awesome pictures!

  12. Lynn Koch April 5, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Beautiful birds and awesome shots, Mia!

  13. Laurence Butler April 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Wow Mia! Absolute stunners!

  14. Erin Duke April 5, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Gorgeous, Mia! I wasn’t aware that only one true lark lives here in North America–interesting! I really love that meadowlark–great capture as he sings! 🙂

  15. judy watson April 5, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Love those birds! Beautiful photos!

  16. Susan April 5, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Awesome post Mia, I’m so excited, you have introduced two species here that I have not heard of, I will have to do some research now. Lovely photos

  17. M. Firpi April 5, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Thanks so much for this, I needed a refresher on the “Lark” terminology. Beautiful images and quote.

  18. eric c11 April 5, 2013 at 5:38 am

    beautifull serie mia,
    with a good quality for each picture,
    a pleasure to watch ☺
    have a nice week end ☼

Comments are closed.