Meadowlark Nest Journal

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Model: J-223
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Meadowlark Nest (Sturnella neglecta)

The Western Meadowlark is an upright robin-sized bird with a brilliant yellow breast that sports a distinctive black V. They are often spied perched on fence posts singing their liquid and bubbly songs.

Meadowlarks lay their clutches of 3-7 speckled eggs in nests on the ground in grassy meadows, prairies and pastures, building a gently depressed hollow of grass and leaves which is covered by a sheltering roof. After hatching, the young birds will still live in and near the nest until they fledge and learn to fly. Some meadowlarks will successfully hatch two families in a season.

A meadowlark nest is well camouflaged, protecting it from the ground predators these birds are especially vulnerable to. However, this camouflage can hide the nest rather too well where humans are concerned. Meadowlarks and humans must share land, but there are two simple ways that we can leave space for these birds to nest. Breeding season is from mid-April through mid-July, and if those who use the pastures and fields where meadowlarks nest can time their field activities around that period, then the meadowlarks can raise their families successfully. Also, it is important to leave some natural meadows and prairies undisturbed, which will preserve many species of plants and animals, as well as give us a place to enjoy the beautiful song of the meadowlark.

artwork and text by Christi Sobel © 1998

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