Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)


Taxonomy

French: Sturnelle de l’Ouest German: Wiesenstärling Spanish: Pradero occidental
Taxonomy:

Sturnella neglecta

Audubon

, 1844,

near Fort Croghan, North Dakota, USA

.

Geographical variation in colour saturation apparently clinal from E to W, with darkest birds in far NW of range named as confluenta (described from Seattle, Washington). Monotypic.

Distribution:

Canada (from S British Columbia and NC Alberta E to SW & SE Ontario) and S in W USA (E to Michigan, extreme NW New York and W Texas) to Mexico (S to N Baja California, NW Sonora and C plateau in Guanajuato); in winter extends farther S into Mexico and E in USA to Mississippi R and the Gulf Coast.

Introduced on Kauai (Hawaiian Is).

Descriptive notes

Male average 21 cm, 106 g; female average 19 cm, 89·4 g. A stocky, long-billed icterid. Male has blackish crown with pale buff to white median stripe, long super­... read more

Voice

Song of male lasts c. 1·5 seconds, consists of 1–6 rather pure whistles followed by 1... read more

Habitat

Pastures, meadows, hay fields, less often in cultivated fields. Where range overlap with S.... read more

Food and feeding

Stomach contents 70% animal food, 30% plant food. Insects commonly represented included weevils (Curculionidae), crickets and grasshoppers... read more

Breeding

Season Apr–Aug in USA; second broods frequent. Monogamous to moderately polygynous, with two or three females per male. Male defends... read more

Movements

Medium-distance migrant, with overlapping breeding and non-breeding ranges. Winters from extreme SW... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to abundant in much of its extensive range. In North America seems to be a more numerous species than S. magna.

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2019). Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/62331 on 22 February 2019).