Meadowlark At Sunrise
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I’ve posted images of Meadowlarks from time to time. I really like these birds. They are beautiful and extremely photogenic. They seem to have a capacity for striking appealing poses.
I photographed this one the other day perched on dead vegetation alongside a rural road. The sun had barely cleared the horizon when I captured these images and the bird is suffused with a pinkish-yellow glow that accentuates its plumage. The quality of the light changed extremely rapidly as I took these photographs due to the passage of high, thin clouds across the sun. The second image, which I made about 30 seconds after I took the first, has a tiny bit less of an overall pink cast than does the first image.
There are two species of Meadowlark whose winter territories overlap in southern Arizona: Eastern and Western Meadowlark. The two look very much alike, so much so that I suspect that individual differences in plumage may surpass those that are supposedly species specific. In any event, I have no idea what I’m looking at when I see a Meadowlark and, so, I’ll refrain from using the prefix “eastern” or “western” in discussing this bird.
One difference between the species lies in their songs. Supposedly, one can tell the two apart by listening to them. I’m terrible at bird songs so I’d be totally unreliable trying to distinguish a species on that basis. Also, this bird wasn’t singing.
According to the field guides the Western Meadowlark only winters in southern Arizona whereas there are supposedly some Eastern Meadowlarks whose year-round territory extends into this area. I’m not certain that’s so because I’ve never seen a Meadowlark here in the hot months. The ones that I encounter all seem to vacate the premises when the weather warms up. Perhaps they’re all Western Meadowlarks.
But, whatever may be the case, I love to photograph these birds and will miss them during the summer months.
Images made with a Canon 5Diii, 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 ISII zoom lens+1.4x telextender, aperture priority setting, ISO 800, f8 @ 1/640.