Lark Sparrow on Antelope Island

I had some luck with a cooperative Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) this past Sunday where the handsome bird stuck around for quite a bit on several different perches.

Back view of a Lark SparrowBack view of a Lark Sparrow – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

Lark Sparrows are showing up in nice numbers this year on Antelope Island State Park and I am tickled that they are because they are great subjects.  The bold facial pattern is very appealing to me.

Lark Sparrow perched on SagebrushLark Sparrow perched on Sagebrush – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

I recently purchased iBird Pro app for Android which has a “Fact” tab and because of the app I learned an interesting fact about Lark Sparrow nesting habits. First, they often take over old Mocking Bird or Thrasher nests instead of building their own.

Secondly, the fascinating part for me is that the eggs and young of both species have been found in the same nest which suggests they can or do share nests with other birds.

Lark Sparrow singing on a Sunflower stalkLark Sparrow singing on a dried wild Sunflower stalk – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

This Lark Sparrow spent a lot of time singing from this dried wild Sunflower perch, I have two separate series of images from this exact location that were taken minutes apart. Periods of song can last up to an hour in Lark Sparrows.

Some years I see more of a certain species than I have previous years which gives me plenty of opportunities with them, I hope Lark Sparrows are one of those species for me this year!

Mia

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