Horned Lark On A Post
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Recently, I posted a couple of images of a Horned Lark. Tonight, I’m posting an additional image, of a bird that I photographed recently. This individual was sitting on a metal post on a farm northwest of Tucson when I photographed it.
I find Horned Larks to be delightful little birds. They’re not much bigger than sparrows but are far more colorful than any sparrow. They are inhabitants of rangeland and open country, preferring grasslands and cultivated fields to desert. I never have seen a Horned Lark in Tucson or in our local desert. These birds are common, however, on the vast agricultural flatlands northwest of Tucson.
The bird gets its name from its “horns,” two tiny tufts of feathers, one located on each side of the bird’s head. Look closely at this individual and you’ll see a “horn” at the rear of its head, part of the black stripe the runs across its forehead and temple. I learned a fancy word today for these horns — “plumicorns,” meaning, literally, horns made out of feathers. The horns serve no functional purpose that I am aware of but, perhaps the Horned Larks appreciate their utility in ways that we cannot. It may be that members of the opposite sex find these horns attractive. Who knows?
Image made with a Canon 5Diii, 100-400mm zoom ISII lens+1.4x telextender, aperture priority setting, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/1000.