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I'd be happy to know the family on this one!

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This landscape picture was taken on July 14 just outside of Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado.  Months later, I noticed there was a bird on the fence in the foreground.  I probably missed it at the time because I was stopped on a road when I took the original picture and was probably in a hurry to move on before any other cars came by.  Unfortunately, since I missed it, I did not get any zooms of it.

I've also attached two versions of the picture where I crop in on the bird.  Here is what I know:

  • Dry grasslands habitat.
  • Based on "standard" barbwire fence specs, the bird is roughly 11-13 inches long (maybe more).  But that seems like a lot of bird to be balancing on a wire fence.
  • Merlin thinks its a Prairie Falcon.

For some reason, I'm really stuck on the body shape.  The tail seems too short and the neck too long for a falcon or hawk.  Having said that, it is possible the tail was edge-on to me which would make it invisible from this distance.

Bottom line, I'd be happy to know what family it is from.  Thanks in advance!

Original picture:


Partial crop:


Close crop:




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Ahhh... why didn't I think about Meadowlark?  I certainly saw enough of them sitting on wire fences on my long drive!

Now I can feel better about missing this bird.  I got some nice pictures of other Western Meadowlarks on the trip.


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