Horned Lark Extreme Close Up

Close up of a Horned LarkHorned Lark Extreme Close Up – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Could you guess what bird I photographed just from looking at the extreme close up photo above? I don’t think I could even though I photograph this species quite often.

Last week I had a male Horned Lark land on a boulder very close to me and I was able to take one image of it before it flew off. I was using DX (cropped) mode on my Nikon D810 and the bird was so close I could not fit it all into the frame. I didn’t have time to remove my TC or switch to FX mode. When I came home and looked at the image on my screen I was disappointed because the tail was clipped but I blew the image up to 100% and admired the fine feather detail of the lark. The image above is a cropped section from that photo shown at 100% resolution and probably shows an area less than an inch wide of the bird. I really like how this shows the fine feather detail and structure.

I am impressed with what the Nikon D810 can do and this Horned Lark Extreme Close Up shows why.

Horned Lark in morning lightHorned Lark in morning light – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1250, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This is a different Horned Lark taken just a few days before the close up image, they are small songbirds that are acting like it is already spring time. I have seen the males chasing each other and singing their little hearts out already. I love to see and hear them.

Life is good.



  1. CJ Oakley February 17, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Fabulous detail shot Mia – love it!

  2. Utahbooklover February 17, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Utah continues to feel like spring, which is great for moving and hiking the trails in Arches, Canyonland, and Dead Horse Point in the Moab area last week. Only wish I had brought my bigger camera. The ravens were always in pairs (mate for life) and would sometimes beg for food with a soft vocal sound unlike the “caw” sound.

  3. Charlotte (Prairie Birder) February 17, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Great photo, Mia! I can’t wait to see my first Horned Lark of the year.

  4. Alan Kearney February 17, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Mia, I’ve the same camera but not the lens. The camera is amazing, yes, but more importantly is your dedication, professionalism and technique.
    Terrific closeup and full body shot. I think Spring IS already here, I’m afraid! Been in the mid 80’s in Tucson, about 3 weeks too early.

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