photo by Matt Sittel
Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)
Low, explosive “chuck.” Song is variable series of bubbling, flutelike notes; faster at end.
Description: Sexes similar. Black V-shaped breast band on yellow underparts; upperparts are brown with dusky edges. Yellow chin and throat; yellow lower half of cheek; brown striping on head; dark streaking on white sides. White outer tail feathers are conspicuous in flight. Best distinguished from Eastern Meadowlark by voice.
Habitat: Tall and mixed-grass prairies, hayfields, wet meadows, and weedy edges of croplands. Sometimes found in short-grass and sage dominated plains.
Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant across the state. Common summer resident almost statewide except in extreme southeastern counties. Winters most regulary in southern Nebraska.
- Nebraska’s state bird (as well as many other states).
- Western and Eastern Meadowlarks were considered to be the same species for a long time. The western species, having been overlooked, was given the species name “Sturnella neglecta“.
- Hybridizes with Eastern Meadowlarks where ranges overlap.