Photographing Lark Sparrows on Antelope Island

/, Birds, Davis County, Lark Sparrows, Utah/Photographing Lark Sparrows on Antelope Island

Perky Lark Sparrow on a postPerky Lark Sparrow on a post – Nikon D500, f9, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I braved the biting gnats on Antelope Island State Park yesterday but for the first time I used the fine mesh head net I bought several years ago to keep the gnats away from my hair and scalp. I really hate those blood sucking gnats and I can’t wait for them to go away.

I am glad I went to the island though because it had been nearly a month since I had been out there and I wanted to see the Great Salt Lake, the wildlife and of course the birds.

I saw Lark Sparrows all over the island, they were resting, flitting about, singing, foraging and showed up on top of natural and man made perches.

Even though I prefer natural perches I can’t resist photographing a perky looking Lark Sparrow on a man made post.

Lark Sparrow resting on a postLark Sparrow resting on a post – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And when the Lark Sparrows give me more than one pose on the same perch I will keep photographing them. This sparrow seemed pretty comfortable on the man made post until a noisy vehicle came by and startled it enough that it flew off in a hurry.

Lark Sparrow on a Tintic Quartzite boulderLark Sparrow on a Tintic Quartzite boulder – Nikon D500, f8, 1/1250, ISO 400, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Further south on Antelope Island the Larks Sparrows were on the tops of sagebrush, rabbitbrush and tintic quartzite boulders and rocks. The cheatgrass on the island has already turned brown and that is what was in the background of this photo. I like this photo but…

Lark Sparrow against a blue skyLark Sparrow against a blue sky – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 320, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I must admit I liked the photos of the next Lark Sparrow I photographed more than the brown cheatgrass in the image above because the sparrow stands out so well from the blue sky.  I also like the combination of the cool tones of the sky and the warm tones of the boulder and Lark Sparrow.

Lark Sparrow on a bright boulderLark Sparrow on a bright boulder – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 320, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And when the sparrow hopped up to the top of the boulder I delighted to see and photograph its whole body as it looked in my direction long enough to take a few frames. I love it when I can take photos of birds that show all of their beauty.

Lark Sparrows are only in Utah during their breeding season so whenever I have the opportunity to photograph them and their bold facial patterns I am thoroughly delighted.

Life is good.



  1. Laura Culley May 26, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    What outstanding feather detail!! SPLENDID! OH WOW!

  2. Elephants Child May 25, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Muted magic.
    I love their subtle colours – and their markings. Thank you.

  3. Pepe Forte May 25, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    It’s all there. Color, detail, composition…what eye candy! Very cool Mia. Thanks.

  4. Patty Chadwick May 25, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I especially like the second(the bird looks so comfortable) and the last (the bird looks so hsndsome)…they are such pretty birds,anyway….like the subtle colors and marking patterns….

  5. Patty Chadwick May 25, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Wonderful series of what Ellie Baby calls LBJ’s ( little brown jobs)..wood is natural, even if it’s been made into a post…I love seeing birds perched on old, weathered wood posts…perched on metal, especially Devil wire, not as much….

  6. Jo Smith May 25, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Have you tried “Skin so Soft” seems to work on the Arkansas no see ums. Love the pics of the lark sparrow, have a pair up the road every year, they sure don’t set still for long.

  7. pennypinchadventure Tim Traver May 25, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Love seeing Lark Sparrow, man-made post or no. So handsome. An inspiring set of shots. And braving gnats too!

  8. Glen Fox May 25, 2017 at 5:26 am

    Gorgeous images Mia of a sparrow most of us seldom see. Thank you!

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