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Merlin Bird ID

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    Eastern Meadowlark

    Silhouette MeadowlarksMeadowlarks

    Eastern Meadowlark

    Sturnella magna
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Icteridae
    Basic Description

    The sweet, lazy whistles of Eastern Meadowlarks waft over summer grasslands and farms in eastern North America. The birds themselves sing from fenceposts and telephone lines or stalk through the grasses, probing the ground for insects with their long, sharp bills. On the ground, their brown-and-black dappled upperparts camouflage the birds among dirt clods and dry grasses. But up on perches, they reveal bright-yellow underparts and a striking black chevron across the chest.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Eastern MeadowlarkRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    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.

    Other Names
    • Pradero Tortillaconchile (Spanish)
    • Sturnelle des prés (French)

    Backyard Tips

    This species often comes to backyards if food is offered. 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.

    • Cool Facts