A Lark, Blackbird and and old Coyote

Male Horned Lark perched on Tintic QuartziteMale Horned Lark perched on Tintic Quartzite – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC natural light

Yesterday the sun was shining on Antelope Island unlike the stormy day before and there were birds and animals to photograph much to my delight. The Horned Larks were singing, preening and chasing each other around. This male Horned Lark that was perched on Tintic Quartzite was one of my favorite larks images yesterday. Tintic Quartzite found on the island is 550 millions years old and was at one time part of an ancient seabed. Typically the light color of the quartzite makes photographing birds on them challenging but in the right light these ancient rock formations can be interesting perches.

Male Red-winged BlackbirdMale Red-winged Blackbird – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1600, ISO 500, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC natural light

The Red-winged Blackbirds are singing and displaying and are behaving as if spring has already started. I can’t blame them because it sure feels like spring to me not mid February. It won’t be long and the Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brown Cowbirds and Brewer’s Blackbird will be joining the chorus.

Pale male Coyote in marsh grassesPale male Coyote in marsh grasses – Nikon D810, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC natural light, not baited or called in

On the way off of the island I spotted my third Coyote of the day and it was a coyote I had wondered about for some time. The last time I photographed him was in 2013 and his mate had suffered an injury to her leg. I have wondered if she survived and how this old, pale male had done too. He is so much paler or bleached out than the other coyotes on the island that he stands out. Well, now he has an injury to one of his back legs and doesn’t put any weight on it.  It is park policy to allow nature to take its course and even though seeing this coyote limping along tugs at my heart I believe in that policy.

The leg injury has not seemed to impede the hunting ability old coyote and he still looks healthy and strong. I hope his leg will heal.

Life is good.



  1. Lois Bryan February 11, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    that little lark is so lovely!!!

  2. Jolanta February 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    Great photos as alwalys! Thank you 🙂

  3. CJ Oakley February 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Mia – can you tell male and female coyotes apart from a distance? Just wondering (apart from the obvious way 🙂 how you you know which is which…

    Love the pics – and didin’t know blackbirds arrived so early where you are – fantastic!

  4. Chris Rohrer February 11, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Beautiful! Well, if he’s with a pack of coyotes, I’m thinking he can feed off the leftovers. His eyes say he’s doing alright:)

  5. Jane Chesebrough February 11, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Nice to see this trio of images-hope the old boy makes it through to another spring.

  6. Patty Chadwick February 11, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Three wonderful photos and interesting accounts to start my day…love the info about the rock, the sharp contrast between the silky black bird and the prickly gray vegetation and the image of the battle scarred old coyote….

  7. SkyHawker4 February 11, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Mia, every photo u take is just so spectacular! Words are not sufficient to explain how my heart skips viewing your excellent skill!

  8. Alex (stu) February 11, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Nature is such a great architect. From the rocks and grasses to the creatures that live on them.. Excellent photography. I do like the new site changes also..

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