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State Bird of Both Oregon and Montana

Do you like birds? Are you curious about state birds? This one is the state bird in both Montana and Oregon. Before much else, I should explain how we came about seeing him. (This is a male.)

Today was much cooler than yesterday. Yesterday got up to 98 F / 36.7 C, with no breeze. Today only got up to 86 F / 30 C, with a pleasant breeze. Since it was so nice, plus cool, my daughter talked me into going fishing down at the Clark Fork River at a place called “The Point”. Okay, I’ll admit that she didn’t have to do much to talk me into going out fishing. We didn’t so much as get a bite while we were out there, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.

Driving back and only about a mile out of town, we caught sight of this beautiful male songbird. We are always looking for wildlife when we go out and my daughter saw the bird but didn’t know what it was. I’d seen just enough as we went by to know that it was a male Western Meadowlark. This is an American robin-sized bird with a bright yellow breast and a black “V” on the yellow. That black V is the distinguishing mark.

I drove up far enough to turn around, then drove back the way we came until I could again turn around, then drove back so we could get a closer look at him. He wasn’t at all shy and even posed for us, all the while he was singing his beautiful mating call. 

Zoomed in and facing left

This is the meadowlark again, but it is a zoomed in version of the image that is two above.

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Where the meadowlark was first seen

This is what the view was when my daughter spotted the meadowlark. He's hard to see, isn't he? He is sitting atop the biggest fence post in this image. Can you make him out?

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Pointing out the meadowlark

If you can't make him out, I've pointed at him with a red arrow. Incidentally, the line of low trees going from right to left in this image is where the Clark Fork River is. The hill that is 

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The meadowlark closer up

This is from substantially closer. You should now be able to see him sitting on the fence post, singing his melodious song. This image also more clearly shows the highway that is on the other side of the river. The yellow in the image is wild mustard in bloom.

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Different view

This is from the same distance from the bird as the previous image, but the bird has turned to pose for the camera. A black spot can be seen on his breast, but it isn't just a spot, it is part of the "V".

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Facing us

Here is another zoomed in image of the meadowlark facing us. He is actually at a slight angle, so the V looks more like a necklace. Still, it can be seen that the black isn't just a dot.

How cool is that, to see such a beautiful songbird, just sitting there and singing to us while posing for his picture?

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    • The blurriness is because the pictures were taken with my daughter’s cell phone, rather than a camera. The last couple of pictures are the blurriest because, in order to display the zoom, I had to use software to get the very close up pictures. I basically cropped a portion of the original image and then increased the dimensions of the cropped image.

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