Western Meadowlark

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image: westernmeadowlark.jpg

Common Name: Western Meadowlark

Scientific Name: Sturnella neglecta

Size: 6-10 inches (16-26cm)

Habitat: North America; west of the Mississippi. Found in open field areas, forest edges.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 32,000,000 Mature individuals. Though widespread, populations are declining.

Diet: Insects, grain, and weed seeds. Forages on the ground, often probing the soil.

Breeding: Three to six eggs are laid in a open cup nest on the ground generally woven into shrubs. The nest of the Western Meadowlark usually is partially covered by a grass roof. It may be completely open, however, or it may have a complete roof and an entrance tunnel several feet long.

Cool Facts: While the Western and Eastern Meadowlark is close to identical, the two species rarely hybridize. Captive breeding experiments found that hybrid meadowlarks were fertile, but produced few eggs that hatched.

Males are polygamous, usually has two mates at the same time. The females do all caring for the eggs and feeding of the fledglings. The Western Meadowlark uses a "chase" display during mating season with the male chasing the female. The female usually starts the display, and she determines the speed of the chase. However, males with two mates, choose to be discrete, following only one female at a time.

Found in Songbird Remix Cool and Unusual Birds

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