The eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) is a medium-sized icterid bird, very similar in appearance to the western meadowlark. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Join today! Year-round . Taxonomists recognize up to 17 subspecies of Eastern Meadowlark, including one isolated population in the Southwest known as the Lillian’s Meadowlark, which lives well within the range of the Western Meadowlark. The Eastern Meadowlark closely resembles the Western Meadowlark (S. neglecta), a species found mostly west of the Eastern Meadowlark’s breeding range. Their numbers are now shrinking with a decline in suitable habitat. However, there is only one subspecies in Canada and the neighbouring northeastern U.S. This map depicts the range boundary, defined as the areas where the species is estimated to occur at a rate of 5% or more for at least one week within each season. The adult eastern meadowlark measures from 19 to 28 cm (7.5 to 11.0 in) in length and spans 35–40 cm (14–16 in) across the wings. The upperparts are mainly brown with black streaks. The buoyant, flutelike melody of the Western Meadowlark ringing out across a field can brighten anyone’s day. They mainly eat arthropods, but also seeds and berries. [9] On the other hand, its range is expanding in parts of Central America toward the Pacific (western) side of the continent, in agricultural-type areas. Levi A. Jaster, William E. Jensen, and Wesley E. Lanyon Version: 1.0 — Published March 4, 2020 Text last updated November 30, 2012 This map depicts the range boundary, defined as the areas where the species is estimated to occur at a rate of 5% or more for at least one week within the non-breeding season. The song of this bird is of pure, melancholy whistles, and thus simpler than the jumbled and flutey song of the western meadowlark; their ranges overlap across central North America. Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna Range map Data ... Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna. The scientific name Sturnella magna is Latin for, rather confusingly, "large little starling", the generic name having been given due to the meadowlarks' behavior being similar to starlings. Because vast swaths of grasslands are hard to find in parts of eastern North America, Eastern Meadowlarks will breed in many kinds of grassy areas as long as they can find about 6 acres in which to establish a territory. However, there is only one subspecies in Canada and the neighbouring northeastern U.S. The birds themselves sing from fenceposts and telephone lines or stalk through the grasses, probing the ground for insects with their long, sharp bills. This colorful member of the blackbird family flashes a vibrant yellow breast crossed by a distinctive, black, V-shaped band. These migrating meadowlarks typically depart by the end of November for wintering areas and return to the north after the snow melts in spring. Occurrence. This species is a permanent resident throughout much of its range, though most northern birds migrate southwards in winter. Including all subspecies, the Eastern Meadowlark’s global breeding range extends from central and eastern North America, south through parts of South America. In 1993 this species was first recorded in El Salvador, and the discovery of a breeding pair in 2004 confirmed that the species is a resident there.[8]. Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna. The Western Meadowlark ranges no farther than central Mexico, but the Eastern Meadowlark inhabits much of that country, as well as Central America, and northern South America, from Colombia east to far-northern Brazil. The sweet, lazy whistles of Eastern Meadowlarks waft over summer grasslands and farms in eastern North America. "Eastern Meadowlark, Life History, All About Birds – Cornell Lab of Ornithology", "A preliminary list of the birds of Seneca County, Ohio", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eastern_meadowlark&oldid=971282855, Native birds of the Eastern United States, Native birds of the Plains-Midwest (United States), Native birds of the Southwestern United States, Articles with dead external links from September 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 August 2020, at 04:37. In the field, the song is often the easiest way to tell the two species apart, though plumage differences do exist, like tail pattern and malar coloration. Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna Range map: Non-breeding Data provided by eBird. It is only likely to be seen in parts of Arizona, across the central parts of New Mexico, reaching into the western boundaries of Texas. [6] The type locality is mistakenly given as "America, Africa". May 10 - Jun 7. Range. Specifically the Cape longclaw (M. capensis) and the yellow-throated longclaw (M. croceus) share similar habitat and habits, explaining the long hind toe; their plumage pattern however is all but identical, a striking example of convergent evolution. Despite many regional declines, the Eastern Meadowlark has a wide distribution, both in the United States and southward. Meadowlarks are often more easily heard than seen, unless you spot a male singing from a fence post. Range Map. The numbers of this species increased as forests were cleared in eastern North America. Linnaeus' error is explained by two facts: first, he did not distinguish between the eastern and western meadowlarks. Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna Range map Data ... Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna. On the ground, their brown-and-black dappled upperparts camouflage the birds among dirt clods and dry grasses. In 1993 this species was first recorded in El Salvador, and the discovery of a breeding pair in 2004 confirmed that the species is a resident there. These three are Eastern Meadowlarks. Season date range Dec 7 - Feb … As this exact pattern provides no obvious adaptive benefit compared to that of other meadowlarks and longclaws, it seems to have arisen twice by sheer chance. In winter, they often feed in flocks. May 10 - Jun 7. [5] Adults have yellow underparts with a black "V" on the breast and white flanks with black streaks. Learn more. They have a long pointed bill; the head is striped with light brown and black. Non-breeding season. Breeding season. Overview; ID info; Life History; Maps; Sounds; Range Map; Sightings Map; Migration. Non-breeding season. Range: Non-breeding. These birds forage on the ground or in low vegetation, sometimes probing with the bill. The peculiar belief that this bird also occurred in Africa is due to confusion of the yellow-breasted meadowlarks with certain longclaws (Macronyx), quite unrelated African songbirds. Nesting occurs throughout the summer months. [3][4] The extended wing bone measures 8.9–12.9 cm (3.5–5.1 in), the tail measures 5.3–8.6 cm (2.1–3.4 in), the culmen measures 2.8–3.7 cm (1.1–1.5 in) and the tarsus measures 3.6–4.7 cm (1.4–1.9 in). Breeding season. Delaying hay harvest can also improve survival, giving young meadowlarks a chance of fledging [11], Jaramillo, Alvaro and Burke, Peter (1999). It occurs from eastern North America to South America, where it is also most widespread in the east. [8], Eastern meadowlarks are species at risk in Nova Scotia and the subject of agricultural conservation program seeking to reduce mortality through modified practices. There may be more than one nesting female in a male's territory. [10] Allowing marginal areas of fields on farms to seed with grass can provide nesting habitat for meadowlarks and all grassland birds. [7] ["New records for the avifauna of El Salvador"]. Some scientists believe that the southwestern form is actually a different species. [2] Body mass ranges from 76 to 150 g (2.7 to 5.3 oz). Females are smaller in all physical dimensions. Resident to short-distance migrant, although some birds from northern populations migrate more than 600 miles to the southern U.S. This map depicts the range boundary, defined as the areas where the species is estimated to occur at a rate of 5% or more for at least one week within each season. Range. Herrera, Néstor; Rivera, Roberto; Ibarra Portillo, Ricardo & Rodríguez, Wilfredo (2006): Nuevos registros para la avifauna de El Salvador. Their breeding habitat is grasslands and prairie, also pastures and hay fields. This species is a permanent resident throughout much of its range, though most northern birds migrate southwards in winter.

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