Friday, March 24, 2017

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark
Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary, Tiburon, California, USA
January 2017
Member of the Blackbird/Oriole Family
§A Pod of Meadowlarks§
★State Bird of Montana, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming. The only bird with more states to his name is the Northern Cardinal. They are, of course, fierce rivals over this issue.

{Etymology Corner} The Western and Eastern Meadowlark are so similar that the Western version remained an unidentified species until John James Audubon himself named them. He called them Sturnella neglecta because they had been ignored for so long. The main way to tell the two bird species apart, by the way, is their significantly different songs. So good luck with that if you live in the middle of the country, where their ranges do overlap.

~true bird fact~ Western Meadowlarks have unusually strong bill-opening muscles. This facilitates their number one method of feeding, which is sticking their bill into soil or bark or whatever, and prying it open to get at the insects and stuff within. This method of feeding is named, unfortunately, gaping.

A little rude to strangers
Confident and willing to lend expertise
Has a need for love and attention that can never really be filled
Has mantras that he often repeats

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