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All About Birds EnchantedLearning.com
Western Meadowlark
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The Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta, is a loud, brightly-colored songbird that sings many varied songs. It lives in fields, pastures, open grasslands, and prairies in western and central USA, southern Canada, annd northern Mexico, ranging from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean. This songbird is the state bird of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming.

Anatomy: The Western Meadowlark is about 8.5 to 11 inches (22-28 cm) long and weighs about 3 ounces. The bill is sharply-pointed, the legs are long, and the head is streaked with dark black. The Western Meadowlark has a dark "V" bib on a bright yellow chest. Males and females look similar.

Diet: The Western Meadowlark is an omnivore (it eats meat and plants); it feeds on the ground. It eats insects, worms, snails, spiders, and roadkill; it also eats grain and other seeds.

Predators: Predators of the Western Meadowlark include cats, dogs, hawks, owls, skunks, and foxes.

Nest and Eggs: Western Meadowlark nests are partially domed with a side tunnel entrance. They are made from grass, pine needles, and horsehair; the male and female work together to build the nest. Nests are built in a small hole in the ground. Females lay 3-7 spotted white eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). The female incubates the eggs for 13-14 days. Both parents care for the hatchlings for 11-12 days, then the young leave the nest.



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