EASTERN MEADOWLARK

EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Eastern Meadowlark has bright yellow under parts with a black ‘V’ on the breast. The head has brown and black streaks. Back is brown with black streaks. Sides are white with black streaks. Bill is beige and long and pointed. Legs are pinkish grey. Sexes are similar. Bird length about 25 cm (10 inches).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Sturnella-magna
NAME: ‘Meadow’ in the English name stems from the bird’s habitat. The ‘Lark’ part was given in reference to the Old World Skylark, but the two species belong to different families. Latin genus name ‘Sturnella’ means a ‘little starling’, and Latin species name ‘magna’ means ‘large’. In other words, ‘large little starling’ (Choate).
HABITAT: Grasslands, roadsides, airports and other open areas.
DIET: Insects, seeds, berries.
NESTING: Nest built on the ground amid dense vegetation. Nest can have a roof. From two to six white eggs are laid, incubated by both parents. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeding range includes southern Quebec and southeast Ontario in Canada, northeast USA including Great Lakes region. Year-round range covers southeast USA, south Mexico, and northeast South America.
Distribution Map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_meadowlark#/media/File:Sturnella_magna_map.svg
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, observed occasionally year-round.
CONSERVATION: Population has sharply declined over last few decades in some areas. Threats include habitat degradation from changes in farming practices, pesticide use and development.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Dickcissel
REFERENCES:http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABPBXB2020 (Montana Field Guide)
https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Sturnella_magna/ (University of Michigan)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_meadowlark
https://www.ontario.ca/page/eastern-meadowlark (Species At Risk)
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Meadowlark/id
http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/87384.html (New York Department of Conservation)
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/582/_/Eastern_Meadowlark.aspx
https://www.farmbiodiversity.ca/species-at-risk-2/birds/eastern-meadowlark/
https://wildlife-species.canada.ca/species-risk-registry/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=1144
https://sites.psu.edu/birdsofpa/birds-of-pennsylvania/eastern-meadowlark/
https://mnbirdatlas.org/species/eastern-meadowlark/ (Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://abcbirds.org/bird/eastern-meadowlark/ (American Bird Conservancy)
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/eastern-meadowlark
https://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/eastern-meadowlark/ (Texas Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://birdatlas.mb.ca/accounts/speciesaccount.jsp?sp=EAME&lang=en (Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas)

Eastern Meadowlark - Mexico - Feb. 2009 - photo by Alastair Rae
Eastern Meadowlark – Mexico – Feb. 2009 – photo by Alastair Rae
Eastern Meadowlark - Panama - Feb. 2013 - photo by Dick Daniels
Eastern Meadowlark – Panama – Feb. 2013 – photo by Dick Daniels

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