Western Meadowlarks overlap with Eastern Meadowlarks in parts of central North America and are very difficult to tell apart by sight. The best clue is the voice: Western Meadowlarks have a richer, chortling song and also give diagnostic chuck calls. They are slightly paler than Eastern Meadowlarks, and the yellow on the throat extends all the way to the brown cheek. Female and nonbreeding Bobolinks are smaller and slimmer, with much shorter bills and more uniform buff coloring than meadowlarks. Savannah Sparrows are very small with a short bill and whitish, not yellow, underparts.
“Lillian’s” Eastern Meadowlark occurs in Arizona grasslands. This subspecies has more white in the tail, grayer upperparts, and more contrastingly white cheeks than other Eastern Meadowlarks.
This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.
Find This Bird
During breeding season Eastern Meadowlarks sing often and fairly late in the day, so listen for their pretty, flutelike songs. Also look for bright yellow-breasted males with dashing black V’s across their chest as they show off from posts or poles. In winter, they may be gathered up in flocks of up to 200 meadowlarks foraging in fields for leftover seeds and grains.