I previously wrote about the western meadowlark that we saw yesterday on the way back into town from fishing. I thought I might give some additional information about western meadowlarks and include a sound clip of a couple of the bird’s songs. To me, the prettiest song that they sing is their mating song, found about halfway through this short youtube video. The chirping call is the territorial call that is used to claim their territory.
I mentioned in my other post about this bird that the western meadowlark is the state bird of both Montana and Oregon. That is quite true. What I didn’t mention is that it is also the state bird of Kansas, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
Although it can’t be seen in the pictures of the meadowlark that I previously shared, the fence post that it was sitting on was next to a wheat field. This kind of bird eats primarily insects, though they also occasionally eat seeds. The wheat field is a good place for it to be seen because of its diet. In fact, though they are more often heard than seen, they are often found in fields and grassland. In the summer, they eat mostly insects found in grasslands, but during the winter, their diet is mostly seeds.
These are neither large nor small birds. Typically, they are about eight or nine inches long. They nest on the ground, too. They usually have a couple of broods per year and lay up to six eggs in each. The hatchlings are totally helpless when they hatch, with their eyes closed and without feathers at first.
This is one of my favorite birds of the summer, even though they can be found here all year long. In the summer, the males are very colorful and spend a lot of time singing, when they aren’t chasing away rivals.