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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8 comments on “Sweet, Sweet Song of Spring…

  1. NigelM says:

    I can almost hear this from where I’m sitting – clearly singing it’s heart out.

  2. AndysLens says:

    Wonderful photos of the Western Meadowlark!

  3. montucky says:

    Great photos! Monday we drove through the Bison Range and all along Red Sleep Drive the meadow larks were singing. What a sound track for the drive.

  4. What a beautiful bird. I really like that first shot of the meadow lark.

  5. Beautiful bird and we are so happy to have spring…Michelle

  6. Pat says:

    Lovely shots of the Meadowlark.

  7. Florence says:

    Many years ago when I was first learning about birding, the Western Madowlark was the first bird that I ever identified in the field. Have loved them ever since.

  8. Beautiful bird! Thanks for sharing the info as well. 🙂

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