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Top Shelf

Top Shelf
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-02-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 40D, Canon 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2009-03-25 7:32
Viewed: 3383
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi All,
Why is the good stuff always on the top shelf. Well, I think this Horned Lark is wondering that. I captured this scene at work in Jenner, I'm not sure what the weed is but the Horned Larks and Snow Buntings loved them. I still can't persuade a Snow Bunting to sit still enough for a capture but thats another story. Ivan ( ARGUS ) posted a very similar image not long ago. Have a great day!

Horned Lark
Eremophila alpestris

General Description

By Lee Sollenberger

The Horned Lark is widely distributed on a global scale. In the Americas it occurs from the high Arctic islands to southern Mexico and in the eastern Andes of Colombia. In Eurasia, where it is known as the Shore Lark, it is found from the Arctic coast south to extreme northern Africa, Asia Minor, the Himalayas and Japan. In Alberta, it can be found transiting the whole province, but avoids forested areas, breeding only in open landscape, primarily in the agricultural areas, in the Rocky Mountains above treeline and in the northeastern corner on the Canadian Shield region. Its numbers have drastically declined in recent decades.

This is Alberta's earliest spring migrant, arriving in February, finding food on wind-swept bare ground. If heavy snows fall after their arrival, they gather on the bare plowed edge of roadways, often in the hundreds. Most early arrivals likely move on to breed in the tundra region. Local summer residents may arrive later. Horned Larks avoid the big cities, but some may be found on large, open, bare expanses such as on agricultural fairgrounds in smaller urban communities. In the Calgary area, they are most readily found on grazed pastures or cultivated fields east of the city. When fields are bare, a few birds can usually be found during the winter months in the southern part of the province.

Weed seeds make up a large percentage of this bird's annual diet. It also eats many insects during the summer months.

The nest is always on the ground, usually tucked into a sheltered hollow. It is constructed of dry grass and plants stem with a finer inner lining of plant down, fur and/or feathers. Usually four greenish gray eggs are laid, incubated by the female for 10 to 14 days, depending upon the latitude. Both adults feed. The young open their eyes at three to four days, leaving the nest when nine to twelve days old. They are fully able to fly four days later. This species may rear more than one brood annually.
from Weaselhead.org

taba, NinaM, ellis49, xTauruSx, siggi, uleko, Argus, jaycee, boreocypriensis, MMM, bobair, nasokoun has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To uleko: GreatAdanac 1 03-25 19:30
To uleko: HelloMMM 1 03-25 17:34
To taba: Hi TabaAdanac 1 03-25 12:24
To Dillinger: HiAdanac 1 03-25 12:20
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-03-25 7:34]

Hello Rick
You capture well this bird with natural colors and good details.

Hi Rick

I like the environment you got in this photo..
the horned bird is in a special position..
good POV and DOF, I really like the composition of the image with the bird paying attention to the possibilities..
well done, god note and TFS

PS: I did a WK!


  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2009-03-25 7:49]

I have never seen a lark and I think those birds are fantastic. You are my neighbour Rick today and I really like looking at this small bird trying to feed itself on the upper shelf, as you say. I like the seedy plants, the bird trying to reach the top and the long shadow in the snow. Thank you!


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-03-25 7:58]

Hello Rick,
What a great moment. Excellent photo of this Horned Lark in a lovely pose. Great sharpness and a very good composition, POV and DOF. Beautiful natural colours.

Hello Rick,
a fine picture of the beautiful bird.
Only nit is the snow could be whiter (white Balance), otherwise it really good.
Well composed with good POV and DOF.
Well done,mf

hello Rick
beautiful composition
great details of the birdnice colours
great shot
greeting lou

Hi Rick. I really like the scene, especially the angle of the bird looking up. It fits well with the title "Top Shelf". I hope you don't mind a workshop to brighten the image a bit.

Take care, and thanks for sharing!

Hello Rick, a perfect shot of this beutiful, fine looking bird with lovely pose, excellent details and nice composition.
TFS and greetings,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-03-25 11:46]

Hello Rick,
Very nice shot! I like the composition and background. Also very good details!
Thanks for sharing.Best regards.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-03-25 13:01]
  • [+]

Hello Rick,
Lovely capture of the Horned Lark, a bird that we saw here for the first time as a rare visitor only some weeks ago! It looks very cute here looking up at the seeds. Excellent sharpness and colours and a lovely composition.
TFS and all the best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-03-25 13:02]

Hello Rick,
This is great!
This searching for seeds at the top of the plant seems to be Horned Lark behavior! You got closer to show this than I did though. The POV, lighting and details are excellent in a nicely composed image.
Thanks for sharing this MF,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-03-25 13:10]

Hi Rick,

An adorable shot of this Horned Lark with the yearning expression on his face. I don't think I have ever seen this bird before. I love the composition with the weeds in descending order by height. All that snow is STILL on the ground???


Hi Rick, A beautiful cute bird which i did not see before. She gived you a lovely pose:) Perfectly focused and composed shot MF!
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2009-03-25 17:29]

Hi Rick
Nice image.Another specie I did not know.Excellent timing and great pose .The title you chose is excellent.
TFS Michel

Hi Rick,
this sure is an attractive photo you have uploaded today and I rather like it.The dried plants look very familiar to me and I should know their name but at this moment it escapes me.I have yet to encounter a horned lark in my travels but I have seen those little buntings and have tried in vain to get good captures of them,it seems all you have to do is move your little finger and off the buntings go like a shot.This photo has a nice and mellow light working well to show the colour and details of the lark but it does look maybe more subdued than need be,but that is just a subjective thing.The workshops look good as well.Thanks,Rick for showing us yet another wonderful little bird that calls Alberta home. Bob

  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2009-03-25 21:02]

Hello Rick,
This is a very beautiful image, maybe he wants to look taller! Great sharpness, colors, and POV... Well done


amazing pose with a background him it supports very well, very good composition splendid photo
best regards Rick


A good picture of a beautiful species.
I tried a workshop.

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