Lark Bunting – Pawnee National Grasslands, Colorado: A number of years ago I visited Pawnee National Grasslands in July, when the weather was hot and dry, then cold and hailing, then raining, then hot and dry—all in the course of 45 minutes. The ground was parched and birds were sparse. I was not impressed with the landscape or birdlife, but I also knew that I was there at the wrong time. I decided then, that I would return when conditions were more favorable.
Last spring was that time when everything seemed to come together. I arrived on the grasslands the second week of June, after weeks of rain had brought the land to life. Grasses and wild flower carpeted a landscape filled with birds, rabbits, pronghorns, and coyotes. That parched barren grassland of late July was now a smorgasbord of bounty to the native wildlife and migrants.
I found Lark Buntings plentiful along the county roads that traversed the grasslands. At first, the buntings were wary every time I got out of the vehicle to set-up my tripod. After working with a group of a dozen or so birds for an hour, they became quite accustom to me and allowed me to approach their favorite perches resulting in this shot and many other images. This shot was taken using a Nikon D200 camera, 500mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter.