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Western Meadowlark Facts, Information, and Photos

A symbol of the American West and the Great Plains, the Western Meadowlark is the state bird of Kansas, Montana. Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming.

The Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) is a very popular bird of the West and is one of the most beautiful species in the blackbird family. American Expedition is proud to present information, interesting facts, and photos of The Western Meadowlark.

Western Meadowlark Facts, Information, and Photos from American Expedition.

Western Meadowlark Information

The Western Meadowlark is a medium-sized bird with brown, black, and white spotted wings. The average size of this bird is 9.5 inches and 3 ounces. They have a yellow chest and underside, with the chest featuring a black marking in the shape of a “V.” They have a long, pointed tail and bill and a white stripe above and below both eyes. There are almost no differences in physical appearance of the male and female. The only thing used to distinguish them is that the females are slightly smaller in size.

Western meadowlarks breed from late spring to late summer. After the two birds mate, the female builds a nest on the ground by using her bill and making a depression in the soil. She makes a dome over it by covering it with grass. The pair of birds makes trails to the nest. The female typically lays 3-7 eggs and incubates them for 13-14 days. After they hatch, the female mostly cares for the birds with a little help from the male. The chicks leave the nest approximately 10 days after hatching. The female usually has two broods each season.

Western Meadowlark Facts

  • The western meadowlark is a member of the blackbird family.
  • The Eastern and Western Meadowlark often get confused because of their similar physical attributes. Their songs are the easiest way to tell them apart. The Eastern has a simple whistle, while the Western sings complex songs.
  • The male will have more than one mate in a season and will have all of these nests within his territory.
  • The meadowlark is an omnivore.
  • Predators include skunks, foxes, hawks, coyotes, raccoons, and domestic cats and dogs.
  • A meadowlark’s nest measures 7-8 inches across.
  • A meadowlark’s eggs are white with brown and purple splotches.
  • The maximum lifespan of a meadowlark in captivity is 10 years.

Western Meadowlark Habitat

Western Meadowlarks are located in all of western North America and some of Canada and Mexico. They live in open grasslands, meadows, pastures, fields, and the edges of marshes. In the winter, they migrate short distances south in small flocks.

What Do Meadowlarks Eat?

Meadowlarks are ground foragers that feed mainly on insects, but also eat seeds and berries at times. Their feeding behavior is called “gaping,” in which they insert their beak into the ground to make a hole that will allow them to reach underground insects and bugs.

Western Meadowlark on a fence

The western meadowlark is a member of the blackbird family.

Western Meadowlark on a wire

The maximum lifespan of a meadowlark in captivity is 10 years.

Western Meadowlark on a post

Western Meadowlarks live in open grasslands, meadows, pastures, fields, and the edges of marshes.

Western Meadowlark singing

Meadowlarks are ground foragers that feed mainly on insects, but also eat seeds and berries at times.

Western Meadowlark Facts, Information, and Photos
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