Prolonged male Horned Lark preening session

Male Horned LarkMale Horned Lark behind boulder – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Normally when I see Horned Larks preening it doesn’t last very long, a car or person comes by and scares the birds off, the sound of the shutter startles it or a raptor in the sky causes it to be alarmed and it flushes.

Yesterday I came across this very cooperative male Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris).  This male bird preened for a full seven minutes and I took 256 images of it.   The bird was behind a boulder at first but popped up on top of the right almost immediately and began to preen, he sure put on a show. This post won’t have much text but it does have plenty of images.

Little did I know how this Horned Lark was getting prepped for a marathon preening session.

Horned Lark Warming up for the preening sessionWarming up for the preening session - Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Lift those wings! Yes, even Horned Larks seem to need to limber upLift those wings! Yes, even birds seem to need to limber up - Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark stretching those shouldersStretch those shoulders - Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Is this my best side?Is this my best side? - Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark all fluffed upAll fluffed up - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark keeping an eye on the skyKeeping an eye on the sky - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Male Horned Lark groomingGrooming is important - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark scratching an itchScratching an itch - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark pilatesHorned Lark Pilates - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark stretching left sideStretching left side - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark stretching the right wingNow stretch the right wing - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark shaking it offShake it off - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark Head TuckHead tuck - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark and the Paparazzi poseThe Paparazzi pose -  Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lake and an over the shoulder lookThe over the shoulder look - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark stretching one more timeOne more stretch - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Horned Lark checking out the skyChecking out the sky - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

A handsome Horned LarkA handsome bird - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

A Horned Lark almost done preeningAlmost done - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

A Horned Lark about to fly away after preeningTime to fly - Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or set up

Mia

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