Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Horned Lark Photo Shoot

There are a group of Horned Larks at the landfill, the most I've seen at one time is around five. I don't notice them until the place closes and all the trucks and bulldozers are gone. Then they start singing and feeding on the roadsides the trucks use during the days. Most of the roads are gravel and I see them picking up bits of seeds and grit. The males like to find a nice rock to stand on and sing their tinkling song to nearby females.

It's nice to see Horned Larks back at the landfill. During the ice storm in January a group of 200+ showed up on the landfill along with Snow Buntings and a Lapland Longspur. They were at the top feeding frantically on trash and whatever they could find exposed on the roads. Any place that wasn't covered in ice or snow had a Horned Lark on it looking for bits of food. Perhaps the smartest birds found a place under the pair of flares on the landfill that burn the methane generated by the decaying trash. The place was freshly seeded with grass which probably helped a good number of Horned Larks and Snow Buntings make it through the winter. The heat coming off of those flares is considerable and provided a nice warm spot in the chaos created by the winter storm.


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