Lark Sparrow On The Santa Cruz Flats

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As readers of this blog know, I’ve spent the last eight weeks photographing exclusively the desert life within walking distance of our home in Tucson’s northern suburbs.  I have more images of local wildlife that i’ll be featuring in coming days.  However, I’ve also resumed drives into some of the rural venues and remote locations not far from Tucson.  I’m going to intermix images that I’ve made on these drives with pictures of local wildlife from here on in.

Today, I’m featuring an image of a Lark Sparrow.

There are several sparrow species that inhabit southern Arizona during all or part of the year.  Most of them are habitat-specific.  They show up in defined areas but not elsewhere.  The Lark Sparrow, a  year-round resident of southern Arizona, never shows up in the desert.  This bird likes grassy areas bordered by trees.  The Santa Cruz Flats is one of those areas.  I photographed this bird as it perched in a pecan tree next to a field.

I don’t think that there are any sparrows that are prettier than Lark Sparrows.  They have very distinctive facial plumage that makes them very easy to identify, consisting of a pattern of rufous, black, and white feathers.  In winter, these birds often associate in small flocks.  However, this is breeding season for these sparrows and this bird undoubtedly has paired up with a mate.  

Image made with a Canon 5Div, 400mm f4 DO II lens+1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 800, f5.6 @ 1/2000.  

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