Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)


Pampas Meadowlark (Leistes defilippii)


French: Sturnelle des pampas German: Schwarzschenkelstärling Spanish: Loica pampeana

Trupialis defilippii


, 1850,

Montevideo, Uruguay


Formerly treated as conspecific with both L. bellicosus and L. loyca, or with L. loyca alone, but the two nest sympatrically and without interbreeding in parts of Argentina. In aspect and behaviour present species is almost a perfect intermediate between latter two species and L. militaris and L. superciliaris. Monotypic.


N & C Uruguay (Salto and Flores#R Departments) and CE Argentina (SW Buenos Aires, La Pampa and Río Negro); no recent records from Brazil.

Descriptive notes

Male average 21 cm, 73·6 g; female 67·5 g. Male has head and side of neck black, long white superciliary line becoming red in front of eye, white submous­... read more


Male flight song variable and rather musical, often combining ascending and descending whistles... read more


Native grasslands and pastures; only rarely in agricultural fields. Most individuals (82% of extant... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and seeds. Contents of three stomachs included beetles (of families Scarabaeidae and Curculionidae) and seeds. Forages in small... read more


Season Oct–Nov in Argentina. Mating system unstudied. Breeds in “reproductive groups” or dispersed colonies, nests more... read more


The few reliable Brazilian records sometimes interpreted as representing seasonal movements; recent... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Rare to locally uncommon. Nowadays found mostly around Sierra de la Ventana, a low (1200 m) range of rocky mountains in SW Buenos Aires, in Argentina; one... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2020). Pampas Meadowlark (Leistes defilippii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).