Meadowlark Bird Information
The meadowlark is a foraging bird that walks or runs on the ground. Learn how and where to identify one.
This widely distributed summer visitor is a foraging bird that walks or runs on the ground. It has a black V on the yellow breast. The upper parts are brown with black streaks on the head and upper back, becoming black bars on down to the tail. The outer tail feathers are notably white. The yellow extends to the belly but the flanks are whitish and streaked. The Meadowlark has a sharply pointed bill. It is a short distance migratory bird that can be seen in gregarious loose flocks in the fall and winter.
When flying the Meadowlark resembles a quail or grouse. They roost on the ground in thick grass with their body resting on the ground. The feed mostly on insects and seeds. When approaching their nest this bird will walk stealthily with its body close to the ground. This is a common bird with many species that together are found across the United States. They frequent fields, meadows and prairies, flying short distances in bursts before settling again.
Meadowlarks are territorial birds when it comes to their feeding or nesting ground. Males can be seen busily evicting other trespassing meadowlarks when establishing these territories and though it is not a common occurrence, they will be seen in fierce battle with persistent birds. The female will select the nesting territory, which in turn is protected by the male. This is usually a shallow depression lined with roots, grass, plant down, and hair. At times the rim of the nest will be lined with small pebbles or dirt clots. Meadowlarks breed in grassland areas and the female lays three to four eggs which are bluish white with brown spots.