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Western Meadowlark, Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Oregon

 

Western Meadowlark -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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The Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) has always been one of my favorite birds.  But only recently have I been able to capture it on film as they are very wary of people.  On a trip to Oregon's Malheur Wildlife Refuge I found a stretch of road going through their grassland habitat where several were perched on fence posts--a common hangout.  This one was the most tame of the group and was singing away when I got a shot.  I took the photo in low-angle early morning light, making for a pleasing portrait.  

Besides the bright yellow color, their song is a delightful and complex melody.  I remember it as a child in the rolling hills near my home.  I used to go out birdwatching and once in a while got close enough to see one.  I think the meadowlark's song and appearance go together quite well, creating the image of a free and happy creature.  The bird is so popular that it is the state bird of Oregon as well as Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas.  

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Info:  Chromira digital print of Provia 100F 35mm slide
 

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