Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Few Sights from the Plains

Western Meadowlark

My good fortune with the Scaled Quail on Friday morning exhausted my luck for seeing new life birds, but the next few hours spent driving and hiking the back-roads of Lincoln County weren't a waste.

Great Horned Owl on nest

In Lincoln County the Great Horned Owls build their nests directly over the roadways. Between that and no traffic jams who wouldn't love driving out here?

Wood Duck

The roadside ditches are graced by colorful waterfowl, but if a vehicle stops they aren't going to hang around for long.

Dark-Morph Ferruginous Hawk

The drab landscape is broken by the patterns of washes and the flights of aerial hunters.

Vesper Sparrow

In this setting the unremarkable buff, tan and brown patterns of the sparrows make perfect sense. From above they are just a piece of the prairie carpet.

Swainson's Hawk

If something stands out; it will likely be on the menu for something else.


Even in a harsh environment there are still signs of levity, such as this Pronghorn making a turn before reaching a Horned Lark. After all, this is the land "where the deer and the antelope play".


  1. By the birds you saw, you may have been in Idaho. Great pictures.

  2. I was hoping for a few Eastern vagrants, but nearly everything I saw could have been in an open field minutes from home. But then seeing them in all that open space is worth it.

  3. Gorgeous shot of the Western Meadowlark—I hope you got to hear him singing; it's one of the greatest treats imaginable!