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North Dakota State Bird:

Western meadowlark singing  - click to see all state birds
Western meadowlark singing - photo © Andrew Williams / Critterzone (used
by permission - contact Critterzone: Animal Pictures, Nature Stock Photography
for commercial license or any use). See All State Birds - National Bird.

Western Meadowlark

See western meadowlark video below

The western meadowlark (Sturnella Neglecta) was designated official state bird of North Dakota in 1947 (see list of all state birds). The western meadowlark is a familiar songbird of open country across the western two-thirds of the continent. (from Wisconsin to Texas and west to the Pacific). Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wyoming also recognize the western meadowlark as state bird.

In the same family as blackbirds and orioles, adults are 8-11 inches long and have a black and white striped head; a long, pointed bill; yellow cheeks; bright yellow throat; and a distinctive black "V" on breast. The western meadowlark is often seen perched on fence-posts in grasslands and agricultural areas singing its distinct 7-10 note melody (their flute-like song usually ends with 3 descending notes).

Western meadowlarks forage on the ground and beneath the soil for insects, grain and weed seeds (it's estimated that at least 65-70% of their diet consists of beetles, cutworms, caterpillars, grasshoppers, spiders, sow bugs, and snails). They also nest on the ground - constructing a cup of dried grasses and bark woven into the surrounding vegetation. This nest may be open or have a partial or full grass roof, and sometimes a grass entry tunnel several feet long.

Western meadowlark - click to see all state birds
Western Meadowlark photo by John and Karen Hollingsworth:
courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Western meadowlark predators include hawks, crows, skunks, coyotes, raccoons, and weasels. Western meadowlarks are still abundant but declining throughout their range; they are a protected non-game species.

Western Meadowlark singing - click to see all state birds
Western Meadowlark - photo © Richard Mousel / CritterZone:
Animal - Wildlife - Nature Stock Photography (used by permission - contact CritterZone for commercial application license or any use)

Source:
State Bird: ND.gov - North Dakota's Official Portal
Western Meadowlark: Idaho Museum of Natural History
Western Meadowlark: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Links:
All State Birds - National Bird


 

North Dakota Symbols & Icons

bird - flower
tree - grass
horse - fish
fossil - soil
language
beverage - fruit
 

flag - seal
motto - quarter
art museum-RR
name - nickname
song- march
 

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