Friday, November 20, 2015

Western Meadowlark at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge

On our visit to the Merced National Wildlife Refuge a few weeks ago, we were mostly on the lookout for the big arriving migrants like the Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese. But we also kept an eye out for some of the year-round residents, and along one stretch, we heard a familiar song. It was a Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) on the opposite side of the levee from the ponds.

The Meadowlarks are not necessarily endangered, but like many native birds, they have suffered population losses since the 1960s, due to habitat loss. The losses continue in our area as rangelands give way to almond orchards.

I didn't get any video this time out, but a few months back I caught a meadowlark singing in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Enjoy!

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