Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Peruvian Meadowlark (Leistes bellicosus)


French: Sturnelle du Pérou German: Weißschenkelstärling Spanish: Loica peruana

Sturnella bellicosa

De Filippi

, 1847,

Lima, Peru


Sometimes treated as conspecific with L. loyca or with both L. loyca and L. defilippii. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. b. bellicosus (De Filippi, 1847) – SW Colombia (Nariño) and W Ecuador S to C Peru (Junín).
  • L. b. albipes R. A. Philippi [Krumwiede] & Landbeck, 1861 – SW Peru (Ica) S along Pacific slope of Andes to extreme N Chile (Arica, Tarapacá).
  • Descriptive notes

    Male average 20·5 cm, 78·5 g; female average 61·4 g. Male nominate race is mostly greyish-brown with blackish streaks above, head and side of neck... read more


    Male flight song complex and variable, not very musical, ending in buzzy note, the whole lasting c... read more


    Meadows, grassland and agricultural land; in coastal deserts found at oases or in irrigated fields... read more

    Food and feeding

    Rather scant information. Diet presumably mostly arthropods, small vertebrates, seeds and some fruit. One stomach from Ecuador contained... read more


    Season Mar–May in Ecuador and Oct–Nov in Chile. Mating system not known. Male has short up-and down flight display accompanied... read more


    Apparently resident. Altitudinal movements probable in highlands.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Reasonably common. Has recently expanded its distribution following conversion of woodlands into pasture.

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2020). Peruvian Meadowlark (Leistes bellicosus). 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 17 February 2020).