Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark by Mia McPherson

Western Meadowlark by Mia McPherson

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta); Copyrighted Photo by Mia McPherson

The Western meadowlark is the state bird of Kansas. It has a yellow chest with a black “V” below its throat. Meadowlarks are ground nesting birds. They create nests covered with a roof of grass and bark that is woven into the surrounding vegetation. The nest may be connected to a grass tunnel several feet long. Consequently, untimely mowing, hay cutting or burning may destroy eggs and young. Meadowlarks are most abundant in native grasslands. They forage on the ground on low to semi-low vegetation eating mainly insects, beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers and snails plus seeds & berries in winter. They will also consume waste grain on cultivated land. However, habitat has been lost to intense agricultural development. It is still abundant but slowly declining throughout much of its range. A short video captures its song at:

For a kinetic map of the distribution of Western Meadowlarks during the year visit:

To view more of Mia McPherson meadowlark photos visit