Lark Sparrow & Loggerhead Shrike in Northern Utah

/, Box Elder County, Lark Sparrows, Loggerhead Shrikes, Utah/Lark Sparrow & Loggerhead Shrike in Northern Utah

Lark Sparrow singing in Box Elder CountyLark Sparrow singing in Box Elder County – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Some days in the field are slow which means there aren’t many birds seen or that there are birds seen but they are too far away and yesterday was one of those days where it was a combination of those two things.

Until I spotted this Lark Sparrow on an old fence post I thought I was going to go home with a fairly empty memory card. It had been that slow.

Singing Lark Sparrow in northern UtahSinging Lark Sparrow in northern Utah – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This beautiful little Lark Sparrow was so busy singing that it was a very cooperative subject and I took quite a few images of it as it sang and changed positions on the gnarly old fence post.

Lark Sparrow perched on a old fence post in northern UtahLark Sparrow perched on a old fence post in northern Utah – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I don’t often have the opportunity to photograph Lark Sparrows as out in the open as this one was, normally they have sagebrush or other vegetation obscuring part of their bodies or they are in a cluttered habitat.

Adult Lark Sparrow singing on a wooden fence postAdult Lark Sparrow singing on a wooden fence post – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

So having this Lark Sparrow out in the open and cooperating was a joy. Listening to it was too.

Lark Sparrow in a light breezeLark Sparrow in a light breeze – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This Lark Sparrow may not have found a mate yet and could have been singing to attract a mate. Me, I am just glad it was such a confiding bird and allowed me to take so many images of it.

Loggerhead Shrike perched on barbed wireLoggerhead Shrike perched on barbed wire – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

As I photographed the Lark Sparrow I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and looked over to see an adult Loggerhead Shrike that had perched on a nearby fence post, before I could point my lens at the shrike another shrike came in and passed some food to this shrike then flew off before I could fire a shot. The shrike was close enough to the sparrow that I wondered if the shrike would go after the sparrow. That has been known to happen. But the shrike flew off after the other shrike and the Lark Sparrow continued to sing.

I did take a few images of the Loggerheads Shrike together but they were from a long distance and the birds were really tiny in the frame.

Perched adult Lark Sparrow in Box Elder CountyPerched adult Lark Sparrow in Box Elder County – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The Lark Sparrow hung around for a little bit after the shrikes left and gave me some great views of its harlequin facial patterns on the old fence post before it flew away.

I love birds and I love it when I can find cooperative birds that allow me to photograph them singing, posing and delighting my senses.

Life is good.

Mia

P.S., the no-see-ums (biting gnats) are bad even in northern Utah. They ripped me up again yesterday.

4 Comments

  1. Elephants Child May 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Sorry about the bitey beasts.
    And thank you for both feathered charmers. Patty is right about the pint-sized assasin though.

  2. Pepe Forte May 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Great series of pics Mia. As always, the detail, textures and contrasts you capture are just amazing. Thanks.

  3. Patty Chadwick May 10, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Beautiful bird on a beautiful perch…can almost hear the lark’s bubbling song! The shrike looks as if it’s considering the devil wire as a good place to store its catch…it’s definitely checking out something….

  4. Bob mcpherson May 10, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Beautiful photos, MiA.

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