Male Horned Lark stretching his left wing – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
This was another one of those mornings where I woke up to find server issues which took over an hour to get sorted out so I am just doing a very simple post this morning. It is probably a good thing I am one of those people that can go with the flow.
I was out on Antelope Island State Park yesterday and it was birdier than it has been in a while which was a delight. I photographed some Long-billed Curlews, Western Meadowlarks, Black-billed Magpies, Common Ravens, Sage Thrashers, one male Pronghorn, one Chukar, several Horned Larks plus I spotted my first of the year Willet. So all in all a nice day on the island.
There was one very cooperative male Horned Lark on top of a boulder that I took a lot of images of while he sang, preened and stretched. Because of my server issues this morning I didn’t have time to edit more than just this one photo but I’ll try and post more of him later when I am not so stressed out.
I like this photo for the eye contact, the fine details in the plumage of the bird, the stretched wing, light and how his one foot is raised, plus I think Horned Larks are beautiful songbirds.
Life is good.
A few Horned Lark facts:
- Horned Larks are small songbirds that are the only true lark species native to North America.
- Horned Larks return to their natal breeding grounds every migration. Because they do local populations have adapted to the colors found in their habitat in their plumage which gives us about 15 distinct subspecies in the western part of their range.
- Males are more brightly colored than females and their “horns” are more prominent.
- Horned Larks are social birds and are often found in large flocks or in open country where there is bare ground or habitat with short vegetation.
- Horned Larks are very early breeders, they have been found to nest in February in their northern range. They lay 2 to 5 eggs which take 11 to 12 days to hatch. The female incubates. They will often have more than one brood per season.
- They eat mostly seeds and insects.
- Horned Larks can live up to 8 years.