BIRD SPECIES

Eastern Meadowlark

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Sturnella magna

Eastern Meadowlark

The Eastern Meadowlark is a medium-sized songbird with a short tail and long, spear shaped bill. it is very similar in appearance to the Western Meadowlark.  It occurs from eastern North America to South America, where it is also most widespread in the east.

Adults measure about 7.5 - 10.2 inches in length, with a wingspan of 13.8 - 15.8 inches and weigh around 90 - 150 grams.

They are pale brown marked with black, with bright-yellow underparts and a bold black V across the chest. Though most of the tail is brown with blackish barring, the outer feathers are white and conspicuous during flight.

CALL: A single, sharp “dzert” note when humans or other meadowlarks intrude on their territory. Another distinctive sound is a harsh chatter that lasts 1.5 seconds and is given by both males and females. Both sexes have a series of "weet" calls that they give while in flight.

SONG: The males' primary song consists of 3 - 5 (sometimes up to 8) pure and plaintive flute-like whistles all slurred together and gradually dropping in pitch, up to 2 seconds long.

Males have a repertoire of songs, singing one song repeatedly for a time and then switching to a different version. They typically sing from an exposed perch, but occasionally sing in flight as well.

Eat mostly insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and grubs.

During winter they also eat weed seeds, spilled corn, and wild fruits, but don’t eat sprouting grain.

Found in a variety of open habitats, including prairies, meadows, weedy pastures, hay fields, and other open areas.

The female builds a cup-shaped nest with dead grasses, plant stems, and strips of bark. It is placed in a small depression on the ground, typically well concealed by dense vegetation. Nest is covered with a roof woven from grasses.

She lays 2 - 7 white eggs with variable speckles of spots. Incubation lasts for about 13 - 16 days.

SOURCES:
https://www.allaboutbirds.org
https://www.sdakotabirds.com
https://en.wikipedia.org

 

 

 

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