I oftentimes joke, “I don’t photograph “little birds” (meaning non-raptors) but in fact, when I get the chance and it doesn’t require too much patience. I do. 😉 Here is a look at my personal top 25 captures from my past photo year, everything from the tiny hummingbird to the massive pelican.
Lark buntings used to be quite plentiful at the lower elevations of the Centennial State. They have, however, not adapted too well to human intrusion and while they are still plentiful, they aren’t seen too often near populated areas. I have seen some in the spring when they migrate in but then they usually seem to just kind of disappear. This year, to my untrained eye, it seems like they have been around in greater numbers and have hung around into the summer more with this image taken this past weekend at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
For our state bird, lark buntings really aren’t all that common anymore. Yesterday I happened across a few males hanging out as they foraged along the ground. Kind of neat looking birds with that black and the bit of white.
I have only seen them a few times although they are found in the summers in the state’s lower elevations. Someone pointed out to me yesterday when I remarked how they aren’t seen often that it wasn’t always that way.
Their populations have declined nearly 90% in the past 40 years. It is theorized that loss of habitat in their summer ranges like here in Colorado and in their winter residences in desert grasslands are the reason.