Thursday, August 15, 2013

This week's Crops & Clips: Eastern Meadowlark

One or two pairs of meadowlarks sang and nested on the grassy field that was next to our Illinois condo before the land was cleared and graded for the new construction. The clear whistled song of the Eastern Meadowlark is generally interpreted as "Spring of the year!"  They sing from the day they arrive in the spring until well into autumn, when most depart for points to the south.  When we lived in New Mexico, the Western Meadowlark had a distinctly different gurgling or warbling song, which sounded to me like "Look at me, I'm a meadowlark!"

I stopped the car to take these photos of one we saw at the side of  the road just after going out our driveway.

Eastern Meadowlark 20100426

Eastern Meadowlark 2-20100426

The light was rather harsh for this shot, but it is interesting to note that this bird's left leg has a swelling at the "ankle." I wonder what caused the malformation, whether disease, an injury or a developmental defect.

Eastern Meadowlark 20110522

While I have often captured only their brown backs, this is one of my favorite shots--

Eastern Meadowlark 20110505

I love to catch them singing, as I did with this one at nearby Jones Meadow Park.

Eastern Meadowlark 20100419

Meadowlarks are abundant at Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve about a mile away.

Eastern Meadowlark 2-20090622

This one seems to have responded to a command from the drill sergeant: "Left wing, Salute!"

Eastern Meadowlark 2-20100315


  1. Sweet stuff Ken. Meadowlarks are a group that continue to frustrate me photographically, especially because they're so conspicuous, and yet skittish as well.

    No problem for you, well done!

  2. Wonderful pictures -- this is a fabulous series. And as always mixed feelings of joy and sadness on your crops and clips posts.

  3. Hi Ken, No that last one I waving 'good bye'! This is a lovely looking bird and you are right, it is wonderful to see it singing. I love the 4th shots best as he seems to be belting the song out!

  4. Glorious shots Ken of this songster in full vocal mode.

  5. Oh wow, brilliant photos Ken. What a gorgeous bird and you caught a great pose in that last shot. Thank you for identifying the Black Vultures in my post, I shall remember the white legs of the Black Vulture. Have a great weekend :)

  6. Stunning shots Ken. The Meadowlark is a very beautiful bird and it must be a joy to get such superb pictures. The fourth one down is particulalry impressive - great bokeh.

  7. Beautiful bird. Sharp and clear images. Love to see their beaks open--they must be singing. MB

  8. I do so love meadowlarks....and their song. We don't have them this far south, but if we get up toward the N E part of Texas, out in the prairies, we can hear them. Beautiful images Ken.

  9. Great series!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  10. WOW, your meadowlark shots are awesome. It is a gorgeous bird.

  11. I enjoyed every one of your awesome photos and had to smile at your indication of a salute in one. I'll have to see if we have meadowlarks where I live in Ontario, I think so.

  12. Superb series on this colorful songster, Ken! I could listen to them sing all day.

  13. Wonderful shots of this pretty bird.

  14. I can't add any more to my comment that what I wrote to you yesterday {hootin' anni}...except "a second look at your meadowlark wonderment is phenomenal!!"


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