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Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Yellow Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-04-26 16:52
Viewed: 4176
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
On our excursion to the Brooks area the other day the Meadowlarks were singing their hearts out even when it was snowing. Once you have heard their song you will instantly recognize it always. Hear it at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Western_Meadowlark_dtl.html#sound

Cool Facts

The nest of the Western Meadowlark usually is partially covered by a grass roof. It may be completely open, however, or it may have a complete roof and an entrance tunnel several feet long.

Although the Western Meadowlark looks nearly identical to the Eastern Meadowlark, the two species hybridize only very rarely. Mixed pairs usually occur only at the edge of the range where few mates are available. Captive breeding experiments found that hybrid meadowlarks were fertile, but produced few eggs that hatched.

When Western and Eastern meadowlarks nest in the same area, the Western Meadowlark male will defend his territory against all male meadowlarks of either species.

A male Western Meadowlark usually has two mates at the same time. The females do all the incubation and brooding, and most of the feeding of the young.

The Western Meadowlark uses a "chase" display during pair formation, with the male chasing the female. The female usually starts the display, and she determines the speed of the chase. If a male has two mates, both females may participate in the display at one time.

topSize: 16-26 cm (6-10 in)
Wingspan: 41 cm (16 in)
Weight: 89-115 g (3.14-4.06 ounces)

Large, stocky songbird with a short tail.
Throat, chest, and belly yellow.
Black "V" across chest.
Back brown and streaked.
Outer tail feathers white.

Bill long and slender.
Long legs and toes.
Crown dark with light stripe down middle.
Light eyebrow, yellow in front of eye.
Flanks white with dark streaking.
Eyes black.
Legs pink.
Outer wing and tail feathers partly barred with black and brown.
Buffy edging to feathers in fall wears off during winter, revealing bright pattern.
info from all about birds, cornell lab

CeltickRanger, eqshannon, ramthakur, jaycee, earthtraveler, Jamesp, uleko, gerbilratz, angela926, Maite, NinaM, Alex99, bobair has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hello Rick

beautiful close shot of the Western Meadowlark,
fine POV and framing, i love your POV and the vertical
framing that you gived, excellent sharpness and details, TFS


I used to hear my parents peak of them. First picture I have seen in many years and a fine bird. What a neat catch Rick. I don't know if there are many images of this one on the web....You sure do get around...


Great work. I've only seen this bird once, but it didn't allow me to approach at all. All I managed was an 'id' shot just to see what I've photographed. It looks like you had more luck here. Great capture. TFS

Best Regards,


Rick, this is an incredibly beautiful bird with such colorful feathers and plumage.
The frontal exposure has turned into a lovely portrait. I like how the perch and the bird are isolated from the neutral BG.
Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-26 18:35]

Hi Rick,

I have heard of meadowlarks all my life but have never seen or heard one. A beautiful bird with unusual color and pattern combinations. I love the dark bib on the yellow. His face is adorable. Good details - If I ever see one I will know who he is.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-04-26 19:09]

Hi Rick.
Also known as "Tortilla con Chile" here in Mexico. Love this bird, They really konw how to sing in so many difrent ways.
Great image Rick.
Have a nice weekend

That's a beautiful bird Rick. I hope you post more pics of them. Trevor

Hi Rick, Lovely bird seen well with this pov and pose. Wonderful yellow breast and other markings.
Comp looks good with the bird on the post.
Tfs Richard

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-04-26 22:29]

Hi Rick

Great clsoe-up of this colourful bird. Nice composition plus good detail.


Hello Rick,

Only marking today.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-04-27 2:15]

Hello Rick,
Beautiful frontal view of this Meadowlark. Excellent POV and very good sharpness. Great colours and composition.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-04-27 3:51]

Hi Rick,
what a beautiful little bird!
Its colours are enhanced by the dull surroundings and even exposure.
Pin-point focusing and a great DOF.
Sharp with loads of detail.
Superb composition.
A really nice shot!!



  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-04-27 4:23]

Hello Rick,
Wow, what a beautiful Lark this is!! And your capture is excellent showing great sharpness and beatiful colours. I like its pose and the neutral background.
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

Hello Rick, great colours to this bird, amazing details and excellent clarity. The DoF is good, as is the POV. best regards h

Hi Rick,

Just marking today and be back later...


Hello Rick,
Great capture, I've never seen this
bird, fantastic sharpness, good depth
of field, very nice composition and point
of view, beautiful vivid colors, nice light and excellent details.

Hi Rick,
Wonderful capture of this colorful meadowlark, your image displays the color and patterns off very nicely. TFS.
Paul :)

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-04-28 11:41]

Hi Rick,

Lovely shot of the Meadowlark.
Nicely composed with great POV and a fine pose.
Good details and beautiful colours and light.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-04-29 10:48]

Hello Rick

What a beautiful bird.
The DOF is well done The meadowlark is in excellent focus against the lovely OOF BG.
The yellow is striking.
The shot has a lovely atmosphere to it.


  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-05-01 11:58]

How cute this bird and what a marvellous shot and marvellous composition! I regard it as one of my favourites despite I reached my limit.
Thank you very much for sharing.
Have a nice weekend.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-05-04 7:02]

Where was I missing this beautiful picture...I think it is stunning and the yellow pops out the frame like these old black and white movies they painted. What a nice bird, Rick, and you show it to us with all your skills and heart, thank you.


pts tomorrow... oh, out of them once more!

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-05-05 0:23]

Hi Rick.
Very simply and so wonderful scene. I like charming bird on an impressive old wood pillar. I like clearness of the image and colours, great composition and amazing BG. Well done and TFS.

Hi Rick,
now that is a very yellow bird with interesting plumage patterns.I have heard these birds and like you say in your note, they really do sing their hearts out,great little guys!This photo has great natural colour and wonderful detail and I only wish it had been sunnier for you to have got some catch light but as it is a very lovely capture.Thanks for this view of the meadowlark,he sure is welcome sight. Bob

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-05-17 11:30]

Hello Rick , I find this one a beauty , lovely bird great sharpnes compositie colours and details ,I like this , good job ,tfs Greetings Teunie .

Excellent shot of Montana's 'State Bird,' Rick. Really like the composition using the fence - well done! -Kelly

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