The male Lark Bunting in breeding plumage was the easiest to identify. Black, with a bluish bill and white wing flashes, this bird stands out from other tiny brown-striped grassland birds.
The female Lark Bunting was also fine to ID — as soon as she pirouetted through a turn to show that she, too, had white wing flashes. And what a fine grasshopper! The other females of this species that I saw also had insects in their beaks. Great hunters!
|Female Lark Bunting with Grasshopper. Saskatchewan © SB|
But this final Lark Bunting, a moulting male, baffled me. I couldn't guess what kind of bird I'd photographed until I got home and enlarged the image. (I use a lens that zooms to 300mm, but my bird shots are usually tiny crops from the resulting photograph; lacking super-vision, I can't see as far in real life as the camera sees.)
|Molting Male Lark Bunting on Fence Rail. © SB|
This moulting male Lark Bunting has his own strange beauty, as his mating colours fade to winter browns, whites, grays.
Location: Along Township Road 102, south of Regina, Saskatchewan.
Photo date: July 23, 2012.