Pond-Side…

A beautiful, little pond nestled in Bigfork…IMG_4329 IMG_4349 IMG_4353 IMG_4356 IMG_4357 IMG_4358 IMG_4361 IMG_4365 IMG_4366 IMG_4369 IMG_4370 IMG_4371 IMG_4372 IMG_4374

Dragon Fly resting in the tall grass, his wings almost looked fake…IMG_4448

A fuzzy caterpillar hiding on a thistle…IMG_4461 IMG_4499 IMG_4518 IMG_4532 IMG_4555

A view clear across the pond to the mountains…IMG_4571

A Great Blue Heron landed for a few minutes…IMG_4379-Edit IMG_4385 IMG_4388

A beautiful morning on the pond.

Linking up with:

Water World Wednesday

Wild Bird Wednesday

The BIRD D’pot

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Rurality Blog Hop #74

Sweet, Sweet Song of Spring…

Nothing says spring like the song of the Western Meadowlark…C96A3306 C96A3303 C96A3278

Cool Facts

  • The nest of the Western Meadowlark usually is partially covered by a grass roof. It may be completely open, however, or it may have a complete roof and an entrance tunnel several feet long.

  • Although the Western Meadowlark looks nearly identical to the Eastern Meadowlark, the two species hybridize only very rarely. Mixed pairs usually occur only at the edge of the range where few mates are available. Captive breeding experiments found that hybrid meadowlarks were fertile, but produced few eggs that hatched.

  • A male Western Meadowlark usually has two mates at the same time. The females do all the incubation and brooding, and most of the feeding of the young.

  • The explorer Meriwether Lewis was the first to point out the subtle differences between the birds that would eventually be known as the Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, noting in June 1805 that the tail and bill shapes as well as the song of the Western Meadowlark differed from what was then known as the “oldfield lark” in the Eastern United States.

  • John James Audubon gave the Western Meadowlark its scientific name, Sturnella(starling-like) neglecta, claiming that most explorers and settlers who ventured west of the Mississippi after Lewis and Clark had overlooked this common bird.

  • In 1914, California grain growers initiated one of the earliest studies of the Western Meadowlark’s diet to determine whether the bird could be designated a pest species. Although they do eat grain, Western Meadowlarks also help limit numbers of crop-damaging insects.

  • Like other members of the blackbird, or icterid, family, meadowlarks use a feeding behavior called “gaping,” which relies on the unusually strong muscles that open their bill. They insert their bill into the soil, bark or other substrate, then force it open to create a hole. This gives meadowlarks access to insects and other food items that most birds can’t reach.

  • The Western Meadowlark is the state bird of six states: Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming. Only the Northern Cardinal is a more popular civic symbol, edging out the meadowlark by one state.

For more information visit here…

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Linking up with:

Wild Bird Wednesday

The BIRD D’pot

nature notes logo

Rurality Blog Hop #74