Similar to Eastern Meadowlark. Western Meadowlark: French: Sturnelle de l'Ouest: German: Wiesenstärling: ... habitat, diet, sounds, behavior, breeding, current population status, and conservation. Western Meadowlarks live in open grasslands, prairies, meadows, and some agricultural fields ranging from sea level to 10,000 feet. You may see males competing over territorial boundaries perform a “jump flight,” springing straight up into the air several feet and fluttering their wings over their back with their legs hanging limp below. In winter, Western is more likely to be in flocks and areas with shorter grass (less pristine, extensive grasslands). (2014). In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). The western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) is a medium-sized icterid bird, about 8.5 in (22 cm) in length. Version 2.07.2017. Avian Conservation Assessment Database. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Most of this decline can probably be attributed to habitat destruction from livestock grazing, mowing, and development, and contamination from pesticides. The species rates a 10 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. As the parents move back and forth from the nest they create short “runways” into surrounding grasslands. Their favorite habitats have bushes, shrubs, and solitary trees … They avoid wooded edges and areas with heavy shrubs. Explore Birds of the World to learn more. In spring, males establish territories and chase intruders away in “pursuit flights” that can last up to 3 minutes. It nests on the ground in open grasslands across western and central North America. The species is showing a steady population decline. Discover them all with Birds of the World. Habitat of the Meadowlark Each species of these birds has different specific habitat preferences. Although some nests are simple grass-lined bowls, Western Meadowlarks often use the vegetation around the nest cup as an anchor to create a hoodlike, waterproof dome over the nest by weaving together grass and shrub stems. Version 1019 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2019. Western Meadowlarks are extremely sensitive to humans when nesting and will abandon a nest if they are disturbed while incubating their eggs.Back to top, Although Western Meadowlarks are numerous, their breeding populations declined over 1% per year between 1966 and 2015, resulting in a cumulative decline of 48%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Diet. Regions with shorter or medium-length grasses are more likely to host western meadowlarks than areas with taller grasses. Sibley, D. A.
Avoid very sparse grassland or tall cover. Duller plumage in winter, blending into grasses even more. Western Meadowlarks may come to backyards if food is offered. Sauer, J. R., D. K. Niven, J. E. Hines, D. J. Ziolkowski Jr., K. L. Pardieck, J. E. Fallon, and W. A. It feeds mostly on bugs, but will also feed on seeds and berries. Reason for Designation : Although still fairly common in the western 2/3 of North Dakota, the Western Meadowlark is much less common in the eastern 1/3 of the state compared to historical records. She seeks out a small dip or depression such as a cow footprint, often shielded by dense vegetation that can make the nest difficult to see. There may be more than on… The open plains of the western two-thirds of North Dakota are home to the western meadowlark, and they’re common to see – … 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. The breeding habitats of western meadowlarks are grasslands, prairies, pastures, and abandoned fields, all of which may be found across western and central North America, as far south as northern Mexico. In regions where their range overlaps with the eastern species, these birds prefer thinner, drier vegetation; the two type of birds generally do not interbreed but do defend territory against one another. Habitat The western meadowlark lives in meadows, plains, prairies and other open grasslands. Ideal Habitat. Lutmerding, J. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 85 million with 84% spending part of the year in the U.S., 25% in Mexico, and 9% in Canada. Western Meadowlark Habitat As they forage, meadowlarks use a feeding behavior called “gaping”—inserting their bill in the soil or other substrate, and prying it open to access seeds and insects that many bird species can’t reach. Unlock thousands of full-length species accounts and hundreds of bird family overviews when you subscribe to Birds of the World. Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye (1988). Simon and Schuster Inc., New York, USA. Although they do eat grain, Western Meadowlarks help limit crop-damaging insects. A western meadowlark calls out while perched on a metal pole. Each species account is written by leading ornithologists and provides detailed information on bird distribution, migration, habitat, diet, sounds, behavior, breeding, current population status, and conservation. These birds prefer open grassland, meadow, prairie, and pasture habitat but can also be found in cultivated fields and other rural areas. (2019). Life Cycle The male meadow lark uses visual display behaviors to attract a mate. Western Meadowlark. Western Meadowlarks occasionally eat the eggs of other grassland bird species. Western Meadowlarks are abundant and widespread, but breeding populations have declined slightly throughout their range in recent years, a trend seen in Washington in both the winter and breeding seasons. Each species account is written by leading ornithologists and provides detailed information on bird distribution, migration, habitat, diet, sounds, behavior, breeding, current population status, and conservation. They avoid wooded edges and areas with heavy shrubs. The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. The western meadowlark is a rare breeding species in the north Willamette Valley, uncommon in the central and southern Valley, and locally common in the southeastern part of the Valley between Brownsville and Coburg and around Fern Ridge (Altman 2003).