Sunday, July 24, 2011

Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta

All The Birds Of North America: Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta

Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta This cheerful songster of open areas is nearly identical to the Eastern Meadowlark, with which it overlaps in parts of the Great Plains and the Southwest. Despite their similarity, these birds only rarely interbreed. Like the true larks (to which they are not related), meadowlarks often sing while flying up from the ground. John James Audubon named this species neglecta because it had been overlooked by Lewis and Clark on their expedition.

Identification 8-10". Mottled buff, brown, and black above and on flanks; bright yellow below and on sides of face, with broad black V on upper breast. Tail has white outer feathers. Bill straight and pointed.

Voice Song a flutelike series of whistles followed by a jumble of musical notes.

Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta Habitat Grasslands, savannas, and meadows.

Range Breeds from S. British Columbia to Great Lakes region, south to Mexico, W. Texas, Nebraska, and Illinois. Winters in southern part of breeding range, east to Mississippi Valley.

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