Lark Sparrow With Droopy Wings On A Hot Summer Morning

/, Box Elder County, Lark Sparrows, Utah/Lark Sparrow With Droopy Wings On A Hot Summer Morning

In some domestic birds such as chickens or caged exotic birds such as parrots drooping wings can be an indication of poor health and cause for concern. Wild birds can have droopy wings that show ill health too or it can be a sign that the birds are hot.

Lark Sparrow with droopy wings, Box Elder County, UtahLark Sparrow with droopy wings – Nikon D500, f8, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Last week while I was photographing some Lark Sparrows in northern Utah I took images of this one who had droopy wings because the sparrow was hot. I was hot, I know how the sparrow felt. It was only 8:39 am and the temperature on my Jeep was already reading 87°F. Typically I don’t see temps that high until later in the day. At least I could turn on my air conditioner to cool off.

This Lark Sparrow wasn’t sick, it was just hot and by dropping its wings and holding them away from its body it was attempting to regulate its temperature.

As temperatures climb here in northern Utah due to climate change I think we will be seeing more and more birds with droopy wings.



  1. Elephants Child July 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I hope you (and the other critters) get some cool relief soon. And dread our altered climate future.

  2. April Olson July 26, 2018 at 9:30 am

    My wings are drooping!

  3. Patty Chadwick July 26, 2018 at 9:23 am

    The summer before last, during over a week long heat wave, we saw a Great Blue standing on top of reservoir spillway, with wings held away from its body and drooping almost to the ground…obviously trying to deal with the heat, poor thing! Animals really suffer when it gets this hot, also…

  4. Marty K July 26, 2018 at 7:36 am

    I definitely droop when I’m hot. I’ve been seeing a lot of birds of all sizes drooping around here as well. I realized that it was horribly hot when I was able to walk pretty close to a hummingbird who “stuck” in the shade by my front door. Usually, the slam of the car door will flush the little guy from 30 feet.

  5. Bob mcpherson July 26, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Cool shot, Mia.

  6. Tim Traver July 26, 2018 at 5:25 am

    From severe drought, low rivers and heat waves here to humid rain forest: the Swamp Sparrows are happy again. Hope it cools down out there for Lark Sparrows and people.

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