Breeding distribution of the Western Meadowlark in Minnesota based on the Breeding Bird Atlas (2009 – 2013). The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966–2015. }. 2016). Version 12.23.2015. For details see the Data Methods Section. 2006; Dechant et al. Western Meadowlark Breeding Bird Survey Trend Map, 1966-2015 (Sauer et al. Atlas data were used to generate a model to predict the probability of encountering the Western Meadowlark statewide (Figure 4). 1994. You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 day a year. Nevertheless, the birds do use CRP lands, so recent declines in enrollment do not bode well for the meadowlark. In winter the northern breeding populations move south as far as both coastal plains of Mexico, Baja California and the Gulf Coat of the United States (Lanyon 1994). Partners in Flight Landbird Conservation Plan: 2016 Revision for Canada and Continental United States. 2016. It is the distinctive song heard throughout farm country that led to the western meadowlark's adoption as Oregon’s state bird. During the atlas, Western Meadowlarks were observed in 830 blocks while Eastern Meadowlarks were only observed in 490 blocks. Indeed, in 2015 the average number of meadowlarks per route in Minnesota was only 4.6 birds (Pardieck et al. They again described it as a breeding resident throughout all but the very northeastern counties of Lake and Cook. 1990. Habitat profile for the Western Meadowlark based on habitats within 200 m of point counts where the species was present during the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (2009-2013). 2006. At the local and regional scale, active management of native and restored grasslands is essential to ensure sites provide a variety of grassland mosaics to attract the full suite of grassland-dependent species, including meadowlarks. “Grassland Songbird Abundance Along Roads and Trails in Southern Saskatchewan.”. Hanowski, JoAnn M. 1995. “The Western Meadowlark in Minnesota: Does it Have a Future?” Loon 72: 127–132. The Western Meadowlark has long been recognized as a common breeding species in Minnesota with a nearly statewide distribution. 2017). Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta). One study in Minnesota demonstrated lower rates of nest predation and nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds on large grassland tracts (130–486 ha) than on small tracts with more habitat edge per unit area (16–32 ha; Johnson and Temple 1990). Summary statistics for the Western Meadowlark observations by breeding status category for all blocks and priority blocks (each 5 km x 5 km) surveyed during the Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (2009-2013). Typical breeding habitat of the Western Meadowlark in Minnesota (© Lee A. Pfannmuller). Western Meadowlarks, however, are nearly twice as abundant as Eastern Meadowlarks. He further clarified this line of demarcation several years later when he stated that there were clearly areas west of the line where Eastern Meadowlarks could be found (Eckert 2010). It had been reported as far north as St. Louis County and was even locally abundant in some areas of north-central and northeastern Minnesota. In general, the Western Meadowlark prefers larger, drier upland sites while the Eastern Meadowlark prefers smaller, more fragmented, mesic to wet sites (Eckert 2006; Davis and Lanyon 2008). Of particular interest in Minnesota, where the ranges of the Eastern and Western Meadowlark overlap, are differences in habitat use by the two species. To the east, confirmed nesting reports were available from Faribault and Martin Counties in the south, north to Morrison County. 2015. Although open grasslands are preferred, scattered small trees or shrubs are acceptable as song perches, as are fence posts and telephone wires. Although CRP acres provide suitable habitat for many grasslands species, the dense, high cover planted on many acres may not provide the most ideal habitat for Western Meadowlarks, who prefer more moderate cover densities and heights (Haroldson et al. 1958. Outside Texas Western Meadowlark breeds across Canada from British Columbia to Lake Ontario and south along the Pacific Coast to northern Baja California, Arizona, New Mexico, and the central plateau of Mexico. Summer/winter Map Animation Click on Map to find the season. http://www.stateofthebirds.org/2010/pdf_files/State of the Birds_FINAL.pdf. Identification of this species, especially by sight alone, is difficult because it is nearly identical to the Eastern Meadowlark. Such exceptions were demonstrated by MBS (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources 2016b) and MNBBA data. Eckert, Kim R. 2006. The western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) 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.All State Birds. Little had changed when Green and Janssen provided an updated account of the species status in 1975. 2010. 1987. Distribution of the Western Meadowlark. 2001. Indeed, in a study of breeding birds utilizing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in western Minnesota, Hanowski (1995) found Western Meadowlarks on 53% of 30 study sites distributed across 12 western counties. More detailed assessments of these potential impacts are needed. Rosenberg, Kenneth V., Judith A. Kennedy, Randy Dettmers, Robert P. Ford, Debra Reynolds, John D. Alexander, Carol J. Beardmore, Peter J. Blancher, Roxanne E. Bogart, Gregory S. Butcher, Alaine F. Camfield, Andrew Couturier, Dean W. Demarest, Wendy E. Easton, Jim J. Giocomo, Rebecca Hylton Keller, Anne E. Mini, Arvind O. Panjabi, David N. Pashley, Terrell D. Rich, Janet M. Ruth, Henning Stabins, Jessica Stanton, and Tom Will. 2009). The breeding habitats of western meadowlarks are grasslands, prairies, pastures, and abandoned fields, all of which may be found across western and central North America, as far south as northern Mexico. Official State Bird of Oregon. http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/mcbs/birdmaps/eastern_meadowlark_map.pdf, Minnesota Prairie Plan Working Group. Breeding densities rapidly decline in east-central and south-central regions of the state and the Western Meadowlark is predicted to be rare to absent throughout much of eastern Minnesota. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mnwap/index.html, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Version 2015.1. Laurel, MD: U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. A habitat suitability model examining meadowlarks’ response to woody cover found that quality habitat included open, grassland areas where woody vegetation is at least 360 m away. "swf": "https://www.birdzilla.com/components/com_birds/files/559/distribution_flash_map/Western Meadowlark.swf", Data collected by the federal Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) have been used to model population abundance, generating a North American population estimate of 90 million Western Meadowlarks (Rosenberg et al. 2011. [1999] 2002; Davis and Lanyon 2008).

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