West Desert Horned Lark on Sagebrush

/, Horned Larks, Tooele County, Utah, West Desert/West Desert Horned Lark on Sagebrush

West Desert male Horned Lark on sagebrushWest Desert male Horned Lark on sagebrush – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1600, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Spring is a time when the Horned Larks here in Utah perch on top of rocks, posts, mounds of dirt, junipers and sagebrush to sing their songs. Horned Larks are year round residents in Utah so it sometimes surprises me when I hear people say “The Horned Larks are back” when they really haven’t ever left they have just moved to locations where they can get to food. They breed early and I have seen their young in fields this time of the year.

One year ago today I was out in the West Desert looking for birds to photograph and to check on a pair of nesting Red-tailed Hawks back in a canyon. It really wasn’t all that productive of a day for bird photography but anytime I am out enjoying the birds and scenery is a good day in my opinion. The hawks were on their nest and I took a few photographs of a Rock Wren on top of a gnarly old fence post. My best images of the day though were of this make Horned Lark on sagebrush singing and being blown around by the wind. I don’t often have the opportunity to photograph them on sagebrush so I jumped at the chance and I liked the out of focus hill in the background with just a sliver of blue sky.

Horned Larks sing often in the spring and will begin singing before the sun even comes up. I don’t have these larks where I live because the bluegrass lawns in town aren’t attractive to them. Pity, I’d love to hear them singing before dawn.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover April 12, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    A beautiful image! And thanks for including the cheerful song link. Really appreciate your knowledge and skill Mia.

  2. Gordon April 12, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Great shot , good colouring in the sky as a backdrop.

  3. Patty Chadwick April 12, 2017 at 7:22 am

    This is a beautiful shot of a horned lark…nice, nice background and silver sage perch…both compliment the bird.

  4. Bob mcpherson April 12, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Beautiful image Mia.

  5. pennypinchadventure Tim Traver April 12, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Lovely horned lark. Nice to see the fruits of you labor so beautifully framed. Thank you.

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