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Western Meadowlark

From Opus

Photo by Doug greenbergPt. Isabel Regional Shoreline, California, March 2004
Photo by Doug greenberg
Pt. Isabel Regional Shoreline, California, March 2004
Sturnella neglecta


[edit] Identification

Fresh Autumn plumagePhoto by jmorlanNorth Waverly Rd, Linden, California, November 2017
Fresh Autumn plumage
Photo by jmorlan
North Waverly Rd, Linden, California, November 2017

Male 21 cm (8¼in); Female 19 cm (7½ in)

  • Head striped with light brown and black
  • Brown upper parts with black streaks
  • Yellow underparts
  • Black "V" on breast
  • White flanks streaked with black
  • Long pointed bill

In fresh plumage the black breast marking may be obscured by pale feather fringing

[edit] Similar Species

Eastern Meadowlark: difficult to distinguish the two, except by song and call notes.. The Western has a brownish mottled cheek and yellow extending into the malar area.

[edit] Distribution

Western and central North America to southern Mexico. Introduced on the island of Kaua'i, Hawaii.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Photo by RCHinesEastern Washita County, Oklahoma, November 2010
Photo by RCHines
Eastern Washita County, Oklahoma, November 2010

This is a polytypic species consisting of two subspecies[1]:

  • S. n. confluenta:
  • S. n. neglecta:

[edit] Habitat

Often seen in cultivated fields, but are also to be found in grasslands, prairies, pastures, and abandoned fields.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

Ground nesters; the nest has a roof woven from grass. There is often a second brood.

[edit] Diet

Their main diet consists of insects, such as weevils, grasshoppers and crickets. They also eat seeds and berries.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Dec 2017)
  3. Wikipedia
  4. BF Member observations

[edit] External Links


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