Eastern meadowlark Facts

Eastern meadowlark Facts
Eastern meadowlark is songbird that belongs to the blackbird family. There are 17 subspecies of eastern meadowlarks that can be found in the eastern parts of North, Central and South America. Eastern meadowlark inhabits grasslands, prairies, pastures, agricultural fields and areas near the roads. Accelerated development of agriculture and pollution of the ground with pesticides negatively affect survival of eastern meadowlarks in the wild. Despite these factors, population of eastern meadowlarks is still large and stable.
Interesting Eastern meadowlark Facts:
Eastern meadowlark can reach 7.5 to 10.2 inches in length and 3.2 to 5.3 ounces of weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Eastern meadowlark has brown backs with black streaks and bars on the wings and tail. Bottom part of the body is bright yellow, with black V-shaped mark on the chest. Males and females look alike.
Eastern meadowlark has body of medium size, slender bill, short tail and long legs.
Eastern meadowlark combines shallow, vigorous wing beats with gliding through the air during the flight.
Eastern meadowlark likes to eat grasshopper and crickets. Insect-based diet is occasionally supplemented with caterpillars, corn, wild fruit and seed.
Eastern meadowlark collects food from the ground. It uses sharp bill to expose and excavate larvae from the soil.
Eastern meadowlarks live in loose flocks during the autumn and winter.
Eastern meadowlark produces whistling songs at the beginning of the spring. Males are very creative. They are able to sing one song on 100 different ways.
Mating season of eastern meadowlark takes place from March to August.
Males occupy and defend territory of around 6 acres during the breeding season. They sing and perform various acrobatics in the air to attract the females. Males and females chase each other in the air as a part of courtship. One male usually mates with two or three females during the breeding season.
Female builds cup-shaped nest on the ground. Construction of the nest usually lasts 4 to 8 days. Nest can be equipped with roof and an "emergency" exit.
Female lays 2 to 6 eggs that hatch after 13 to 14 days. Female is responsible for the incubation of eggs. She will abandon the nest in the case that humans or some other intruders remove some of her eggs.
Female brings majority of food to the nest. Male only occasionally assists in feeding. Young eastern meadowlarks are ready to leave the nest 10 to 12 days after hatching. They begin independent life two weeks later.
Eastern and western meadowlarks are two different species of meadowlarks which occasionally inhabit same areas in the wild. Even thought they usually fight to establish dominance over a certain territory, they are able to mate and produce offspring.
Eastern meadowlark can survive up to 8 years in the wild.

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