Lark Sparrow With Prey

Last week on Antelope Island this Lark Sparrow popped up onto a sagebrush very close to me with a large, juicy grasshopper.

 

lark sparrow 7578 ron dudley

 1/2500, f/7.1, ISO 500, 500 f/4, 1.4 tc, natural light

The bird seemed to be deliberately conspicuous about its prize and I briefly wondered why.

 

 

lark sparrow 7587 ron dudley

 1/2500, f/7.1, ISO 500, 500 f/4, 1.4 tc, natural light

After a few seconds it dropped down to this large rock, followed by another Lark Sparrow.

Sexes are similar in this species but it’s my guess that the bird with the grasshopper is the male and the grasshopper is meant as a gift for its mate, though I never did see the exchange if it occurred.  These birds are long-necked and long-tailed for a sparrow and that characteristic is apparent in the bird on the right.

This shot is full frame (no crop) and I didn’t have enough depth of field to get the back bird sharp but I still liked getting both birds in the frame, and the behavior.

Ron

Note:  I’m on the road again and will be for much of the week.  I’ll have no computer access on this trip so I won’t be able to respond to any comments that may be made (though I do get them via phone email and enjoy reading them while I’m in the field).

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7 comments to Lark Sparrow With Prey

  • One of my favorite things about birds like sparrows [and their gorgeous portraits by Ron] is how they can so easily morph themselves into different configurations: thin and tall, short and scruffy or puffy. The malleable nature of bird anatomy and plumage never fails to amaze me.Thank you, too, for identifying the prey. At first I thought it was multiple organisms.

  • Now that is a grasshopper on steroids. A spectacular catch which I hope the female appreciated as much as I did your photos.

  • Charlotte Norton

    What wonderful shots! I had been looking for one today with no luck. That’s OK because my shots wouldn’t have come close! Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful time.!
    Charlotte

  • Nice shot! It’s nice that both birds are in the photo, and I don’t think would have noticed that the second bird wasn’t in perfectly sharp focus if you hadn’t said something about it.

  • Pretty nice shot! What a great moment to capture.

  • Diana

    Ron, I always think of prey being a vole or chippie so delighted in a pride the male seemed to have with his grasshopper prey
    Sorry about the anthropomorphizing
    Thanks for the capture of the two birds together

  • Patty Chadwick

    I’m not familiar with these birds. They’re quite handsome.