Illustration from National Geographic's Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Sturnella neglecta neglecta
Subspecies of Meadowlark
June 22, 1805, at Great Falls, Cascade County, Montana.
Streaked brown above, bright yellow below, with a bold black "V" on breast. Very similar to eastern meadowlark, but upperparts paler, and yellow of throat extends onto cheeks. Best identified by voice.
Rich flutelike jumble of gurgling notes, usually descending the scale; very different from eastern meadowlark's series of simple, plaintive whistles.
Meadows, plains, and prairies.
Breeds from British Columbia, Manitoba, northern Michigan, and northwestern Ohio south to Missouri, central Texas, and northern Mexico. Has spread eastward in recent years. Winters in much of breeding range north to southern British Columbia, Utah, and Arkansas.
Its loud, cheerful song make the western meadowlark one of the best known of western birds.