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Kansas State Bird:

Western meadowlark singing  - click to see all state birds
Western meadowlark singing - photo © Andrew Williams / Critterzone (used
by permission - contact Critterzone: Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography
for commercial license or any use). All State Birds - National Bird

Western Meadowlark

See western meadowlark video below

The western meadowlark was designated the official state bird of Kansas in 1937 (see list of all state birds). The Western Meadowlark is a familiar songbird of open country across the western two-thirds of the continent. In the same family as blackbirds and orioles, adults have a black and white striped head; long, pointed bill; yellow cheeks; bright yellow throat; and a distinctive black "V" on breast. The western meadowlark is often seen perched on fence-posts in grasslands and agricultural areas singing its distinct 7-10 note melody (their flute-like song usually ends with 3 descending notes).

Western meadowlarks forage on the ground and beneath soil for insects, grain and weed seeds (it's estimated that at least 65-70% of their diet consists of beetles, cutworms, caterpillars, grasshoppers, spiders, sow bugs, and snails). They also nest on the ground – constructing a cup of dried grasses and bark woven into the surrounding vegetation. This nest may be open or have a partial or full grass roof, or even a grass entry tunnel several feet long.

Western meadowlark - click to see list of all state birds
Western meadowlark - photo © Richard Mousel / Critterzone (used by permission - contact Critterzone: Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography for commercial license or any use)

Western meadowlark predators include hawks, crows, skunks, coyotes, raccoons, and weasels. Western meadowlarks are still abundant but declining throughout their range; they are a protected non-game species.

Western Meadowlark - click to see all state birds
Western Meadowlark photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Source:
Kansas Quick Facts: Office of the Governor
Western Meadowlark: Idaho Museum of Natural History
Western Meadowlark: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Links:
All State Birds - National Bird


    

 

Kansas Symbols & Icons:

animal - bird
reptile
amphibian
flower - insect

flag - seal
name - nickname
motto - song
tree - soil - quarter
 

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