Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark

Sturnella magna

The Eastern Meadowlark, Sturnella magna, is a medium-sized member of the blackbird family, Icteridae. It bears a striking resemblance to its sister species, the Western Meadowlark. The bird is characterized by its bright yellow underparts with a distinctive black "V" on the breast, white flanks streaked with black, and brown upperparts with black streaks. The head is adorned with light brown and black stripes, and it possesses a long, pointed bill.

Identification Tips

Adult Eastern Meadowlarks measure between 19 to 28 cm in length, with a wingspan of 35–40 cm. They weigh from 76 to 150 grams. The females are generally smaller in all physical dimensions. The most notable feature for identification is the black "V" on the yellow breast, which can be seen even at a distance. The striped head and long bill are also key identification markers.


Eastern Meadowlarks favor grasslands, prairies, pastures, and hay fields for their habitat. They are adept at utilizing farmland, especially areas where tall grasses are prevalent.


This species is found from eastern North America down to northern South America, with a range that is most extensive in the eastern regions. Northern populations tend to migrate southward during winter months.


Eastern Meadowlarks are ground foragers, often seen walking through low vegetation or probing the soil with their bills. They are known to form flocks in the winter. During the breeding season, males may have multiple nesting females within their territories.

Song & Calls

The Eastern Meadowlark's song consists of pure, melancholy whistles, simpler than the jumbled and flutey song of the Western Meadowlark. The song is often the most reliable way to distinguish between the two species in areas where their ranges overlap.


Breeding takes place throughout the summer. The Eastern Meadowlark constructs its nest on the ground, often in a natural depression such as cattle hoofprints. The nest is covered with a roof woven from grasses and lined with finer materials.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Eastern Meadowlark is predominantly animal-based, with arthropods such as beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets making up about three-quarters of their intake. They also consume grains and seeds.

Conservation status

The Eastern Meadowlark has experienced a population increase as forests in eastern North America were cleared, but numbers are now in decline due to habitat loss. The species is considered Near Threatened by the IUCN. Conservation efforts in areas like Nova Scotia focus on agricultural practices that provide suitable nesting habitats and reduce mortality.

Eastern Meadowlark Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Eastern Meadowlarks on Birda


More Oropendolas, Orioles, Blackbirds

A photo of a Greyish Baywing (Agelaioides badius)

Greyish Baywing

Agelaioides badius
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Recommend for any bird watcher
Very wholesome app: I joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter 😃
Fantastic app - Love it!
Love this app and have used it almost daily. Lots of species information and easy to use. Love seeing birds spotted by other users in the UK and worldwide.
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Great app for learning Birds
I’ve been using the app for a couple of months and love it....Someone said it’s like a real life Pokémon Go for birds. They’re not far off! It’s something that the family can do that gets you out and about. Well worth downloading no matter your age.
Love Birda
I love this app. It really encourages you to log your sightings and the community is friendly and helpful.
A Friendly Place
I love using the bird app, I have a pretty good knowledge of birds. But I do have some gaps in it, so it’s nice to have a safe space to check on a sighting to confirm the species. It’s really enjoyable and I love the badges you can collect. It’s like a real life Pokémon go.
Robred 2
Fun way to add to your birdwatching experience
I enjoy watching birds in my backyard, but this app helped me really pay attention while on vacation this summer. It was fun to add new birds to my bird watching app.
Very Wholesome App
Joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter 😄
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❤️
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.