Spring has sprung in Wyoming. The scent of lilac mingles with the fresh air, and the sun graces blue skies. In the distance, the sound of birdsong ripples through the air. Is that the sound of Wyoming's state bird, the majestic meadowlark?

Meadowlark Sings It's Song

The Western Meadowlark is a creature indigenous to the Great Plains of the United States. It's well recognized for its brilliant yellow cheeks and chest and the beautiful song it trills. It became Wyoming's state bird in 1927.

The meadowlark is part of the same family as blackbirds and orioles, fellow songbirds famed for their iconic calls. According to State Birds, the western meadowlark has a seven to ten-note song, and "their flute-like song usually ends with 3 descending notes." (State Symbols USA) Check out the beautiful melody the meadowlark sings:

Where to See a Meadowlark in Wyoming:

If you want to hear the meadowlark in person, head out to the prairie. You'll often find them perched on fence posts or bushes, watching the ground for food. (State Symbols USA) Watch where you step, though! Meadowlarks nest on the ground, and their nests of dried grass and wood blend perfectly into the environment.

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More Fun Facts About the Western Meadowlark

  • If you hear a meadowlark singing in the spring, it's probably a male seeking a mate.
  • There is an Eastern Meadowlark species; the two seldom mingle or breed together.
  • Merriweather Lewis (of Lewis & Clark) noted the difference between the Eastern and Western Meadowlark, noting, "the tail and bill shapes as well as the song of the Western Meadowlark differed from what was then known as the “oldfield lark” in the Eastern United States," in 1805. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)
  • California tried to make the meadowlark a pest species during a scientific study on the bird's eating habits conducted in 1914.
  • Western meadowlarks are a protected species. You cannot hunt the bird.
  • Meadowlarks eat insects, grain, and weed seeds. They particularly enjoy caterpillars, grasshoppers, and spiders, among other creepy crawlies.
  • Hawks, crows, skunks, coyotes, raccoons, and weasels hunt the meadowlark.
  • The meadowlark is the state bird in six states: Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming.
  • The meadowlark's scientific name is Sturnella Neglecta.

Citations:

Western Meadowlark Overview, all about birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Overview, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (n.d.). https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Western_Meadowlark/overview#

State Symbols USA. (2017, January 9). Western meadowlark. https://statesymbolsusa.org/wyoming/bird/western-meadlowlark

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