A Western Meadowlark Bathing in a Puddle

/, Birds, Davis County, Utah, Western Meadowlarks/A Western Meadowlark Bathing in a Puddle

Western Meadowlark about to batheWestern Meadowlark about to bathe – Nikon D810, f10, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The April showers we have been experiencing in northern Utah have made the grasses a vibrant green, put some much needed water into the Great Salt Lake and have left puddles that the birds and wildlife are enjoying while they last.

Yesterday I was able to photograph a Western Meadowlark bathing in a puddle in a gravel road on Antelope Island State Park under mostly sunny skies.

Western Meadowlark bathingWestern Meadowlark bathing – Nikon D810, f10, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

While the meadowlark bathed in the puddle water droplets flew into the air and caught the sunlight.

Western Meadowlark splashing in a puddleWestern Meadowlark splashing in a puddle – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The meadowlark splashed around in the water and its chest soon became soaking wet. While the meadowlark seemed determined to take its bath most of the time it still kept an eye on the cameras pointed at it.

Splashing water and MeadowlarkSplashing water and Meadowlark – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

It wasn’t long before it looked like all of the meadowlark’s plumage was dampened by the water in the puddle.

Western Meadowlark enjoying a bathWestern Meadowlark enjoying a bath – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

For a few seconds I thought the meadowlark was done bathing but it continued splashing, fluffing and shaking.

Western Meadowlark digging its bathWestern Meadowlark digging its bath – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And plunged as much of the front of its body into the shallow water of the puddle as possible.

Meadowlark bathing in a puddle in the roadMeadowlark bathing in a puddle in the road – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And splashed merrily around some more. Let me say I am glad I was photographing this from a distance because I wouldn’t have wanted my lens to get wet from all the flying water droplets.

Western Meadowlark in a puddle created by April showersWestern Meadowlark in a puddle created by April showers – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The April showers we have been having have put a slight damper on me getting out into the field but when I see birds bathing in the puddles created by the rains I guess I shouldn’t complain too much because we do live in a desert and water is a precious commodity for the birds and wildlife. For us too.

Western Meadowlark flinging water off with its wingsWestern Meadowlark flinging water off with its wings – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The Western Meadowlark only bathed for about a little over one minute and got itself entirely wet before it flew off into the grasses to finish fluffing, preening and drying.

Weather forecast for the end of April

More rain will be falling this week and there will be more puddles for the birds and wildlife to enjoy.

Life is good.

Mia

8 Comments

  1. Catherine B April 26, 2016 at 7:08 am

    This bird is fascinating. YOur pictures are alwas beatuful. I wonder if we have one like this in France. I shall check
    Catherine

  2. Mary McAvoy April 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Yesterday I received an email notice that Swan Lake will be in Boston soon. Of course the announcement included a lovely photo of a ballerina in her feathery costume in an elegant though seemingly impossible posture. The first photo in this post immediately brought the ballerina to mind!
    A stunning photo, Mia, and the rest of the photos are delightful.
    What a gorgeous bird.
    As always, thank you!

  3. Patty Chadwick April 25, 2016 at 10:57 am

    These are wonderful,action-filled images…I especially like the bird’s pose in the first…so graceful!

  4. Kathie April 25, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Mia, what great images! I love to watch birds bathe. They always seem so joyous! Western Meadowlarks are one of my favorite species! You made my day.

  5. Catherine April 25, 2016 at 7:41 am

    I get notifications via email of both your and Ron’s posts. Today was a lovely comparison of the same subject with different results. Life is good when you get to wake up with your coffee while enjoying nature’s beauty.

  6. Molly April 25, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Amazing shots. Thanks.

  7. Bob McPherson April 25, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Beautiful photos Mia.

  8. nia April 25, 2016 at 6:07 am

    Dear Mia, always your photography fascinates me, but this little one, so beautiful, so lovely… I fall in love. You did great shots. Thank you, Love, nia

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