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USA (national)

Oregon State Bird

Western meadowlark singing  - click to see all state birds
Western meadowlark singing; photo © Andrew Williams / Critterzone Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography (used by permission).
All State Birds - National Bird.

Western Meadowlark

Western meadowlark video

The western meadowlark was chosen as the state bird of Oregon in 1927 by the state's school children in a poll sponsored by the Oregon Audubon Society. The western meadowlark is a familiar songbird of open country across the western two-thirds of the continent (see list of all state birds).

In the same family as blackbirds and orioles, adults are 8-11 inches long and have a black and white striped head; a 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 meadowlark - click to see all state birds
Western Meadowlark photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth / USFWS. All State Birds - National Bird.

Western meadowlarks forage on the ground and beneath the 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, and sometimes a grass entry tunnel several feet long.

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.

Source:
State Symbols: Oregon Blue Book
Western Meadowlark: Idaho Museum of Natural History
Western Meadowlark: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Links:
All State Birds - National Bird


    

 

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Western Meadowlark Video

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