Western Meadowlark

1/800s at f9.0 ISO:2000, Canon EOS-1D X w/800mm, 1.4x converter

The Western Meadowlark nests on the ground in open country in western and central North America. It feeds mostly on insects, but also seeds and berries. It has distinctive calls described as watery or flute-like, which distinguish it from the closely related Eastern Meadowlark. Their breeding habitats are grasslands, prairies, pastures, and abandoned fields, all of which may be found from across western and central North America to northern Mexico. Where their range overlaps with the eastern species, these birds prefer thinner, drier vegetation; the two types of birds generally do not interbreed but do defend territory against one another. Their nests are situated on the ground, and are covered with a roof woven from grass. There may be more than one nesting female in a male's territory. The female will lay between 3 and 7 eggs, incubation will take between 13 and 15 days and days to fledge 12. Mowing operations sometimes destroys their nests with eggs and young in them.
Medicine Creek, NE