Sunday, March 14, 2010

Horned Lark

While mountain biking on Friday in the Boise foothills, we discovered what we believed to be fox dens far from the trail. Maybe they are coyote dens? We have seen fewer foxes this year than usual. Maybe wolves have displaced coyotes which have displaced foxes. If so, this would be the natural order for the canids. Wolves tend to keep the others in check. This morning we decided to take the photography blind and do some off trail hiking to get a better look to see what we could discover.
It was a beautiful cool morning with little wind. The ground was still frozen and there were remnants of yesterday's snow. What a great day for a hike. We circled around the lower part of the ravine to approach with the sun at our backs in case a good photographic opportunity presented itself. A short distance from the holes we planted ourselves on the ground to observe. There was no action readily visible. While we sat and waited groups of American Robins started flying over 10, 50, 100 ... They were everywhere. Western Meadowlarks were singing all around us as well. But the highlight was the Horned Lark which was singing fairly close. I was able to get a few photos.
We eventually gave up on the mammals and just focused on the birds. The dug holes appeared to be exploratory dens most likely for Red Fox with no animals present. We'll keep an eye out for activity later on. It was a great time to be out exploring a ravine where there aren't any trails.
Horned Lark. Boise foothills.

Horned Lark. Boise foothills.

Horned Lark. Boise foothills.

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