Well, spring is officially upon us, there are more and more birds singing out there and we have reports of starlings, robins and many of our other summer residents already popping up across eastern Ontario.
As such, we wanted to begin the spring season by touching on one of our favourite migrants that offers viewers a welcomed splash of colour; the eastern meadowlark. Their song is quintessential with the spring season and catching a glimpse of one of these big eaters traversing on the ground is a treat to behold.
The unfortunate reality regarding these wonderful birds is that they are listed as a threatened species here in Ontario. Much like any of our other birds on this list, habitat reduction is among the primary causes of decline, hence why we like to mention natural habitat so much here on the blog and on our YouTube channel.
Where to Find Them
Native grasslands and open spaces are where you are most likely to find the eastern meadowlark in search of its next meal. Here in Ontario looks in hay fields, alfalfa fields, orchards and other open spaces. As their name suggests, the eastern meadowlark can be found up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States throughout the year and will migrate up to our neck of the woods during the spring and summer for the breeding season.
A slightly larger bird in overall size, the eastern meadowlark is roughly the size of an American robin and begins and ends with sharp features. The bill of the meadowlark is spear-shaped and sharp in appearance, as are their tail feathers. Their colouring makes identification that much easier, particularly in the spring months when the male’s dramatic yellow underparts are accented perfectly with a large “V” across the chest.
The back of these birds are a speckled brown and black splash of colour, with some white spots not terribly apparent during flight.
As we stated above, the eastern meadowlark’s song is synonymous with the spring season. The male’s rendition contains upwards of five flutelike whistles that gradually drop in pitch. Perhaps the most fascinating part being the extensive repertoire these birds seemingly have during the spring, switching from song to song throughout the day.