My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Eastern Meadowlark, Sturnella magna

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

Eastern Meadowlark, Sturnella magna

The Eastern Meadowlark is a medium-sized icterid bird, very similar in appearance to the Western Meadowlark. It occurs from eastern North America to South America, where it is also most widespread in the east.

Their breeding habitat is grasslands and prairie, also pastures and hay fields. This species is a permanent resident throughout much of its range, though most northern birds migrate southwards in winter.

These birds forage on the ground or in low vegetation, sometimes probing with its bill. They mainly eat arthropods, but also seeds and berries. In winter, they often feed in flocks.

Nesting occurs throughout the summer months. The nest is also on the ground, covered with a roof woven from grasses. There may be more than one nesting female in a male’s territory.

The numbers of this species increased as forests were cleared in eastern North America. This species is ideally suited to farmland areas, especially where tall grasses are allowed to grow. Their numbers are now shrinking with a decline in suitable habitat.

On to my photos:

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark in flight

Eastern Meadowlark in flight

 Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

Eastern meadowlark

This is number 100 in my photo life list, only 250 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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13 responses

  1. Not sure what the difference is between the Eastern or Western Meadowlark, but we had a lot of them around our house in Utah. Used to love to hear their song.

    May 31, 2013 at 2:43 am

    • It’s been a while since I actually wrote this post, but I believe that the difference is the small patch of yellow on the face of an eastern meadowlark, and yes, they certainly do sing!

      May 31, 2013 at 2:46 am

  2. Mona

    nice shots……..

    May 31, 2013 at 3:38 am

    • Thank you!

      May 31, 2013 at 8:45 am

  3. I like that last shot of him singing.

    May 31, 2013 at 6:13 am

    • Thanks Allen!

      May 31, 2013 at 9:25 am

  4. OK, please don’t think this is dumb but I really like that he’s actually in what appears to be a meadow! (i.e. a name that really works– for a change, right?) Thx for sharing these!!!

    May 31, 2013 at 10:40 am

    • Thanks Lori, I don’t think that your comment was dumb at all, I’m trying to photograph each species in their normal habitat whenever possible.

      May 31, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      • Success! 😀

        May 31, 2013 at 2:09 pm

  5. It is so cool that this interests and excites you so much. People may be Googling your blog for many years to learn more about the different species.

    June 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    • Thanks, but I wouldn’t say that it excites me, it’s more along the lines of something to do, and the challenge of seeing if I can do it, all based on comments people made about the number of species of birds I was able to photograph.

      June 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm

  6. Congrats on your 100th life list bird post! Good shots, too!

    June 2, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    • Thanks, it will get tougher, but I’m enjoying the challenge. I think that I photos saved to take me to 140 or close to it.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm