• Peak Breeding Activity: March-April
• Incubation: 13-15 days
• Clutch Size: 3-5 eggs
• Young Fledge: 11-12 days after hatching
• Typical Foods: insects and seeds
The back is brown with black stripes; the breast is a bright yellow with a very conspicuous large black "V" on it. The short, wide tail has noticeable white outer feathers. Their habit when flying, of alternating flapping and sailing is a recognizable feature.
Habitat and Habits
Breeding Eastern meadowlarks are normally associated with grasslands such as lightly grazed pastures, hayfields, and reclaimed strip mines. These fields may be devoid of woody vegetation or support scattered bushes and small trees. Except when they are sitting on fence posts, these birds are seen walking in grain fields and areas of short grass where they feed on insects in the summer and seeds in the winter. The cheery "spring is here" song is a welcome sound as these familiar birds return to Ohio farmlands each spring.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Meadowlark nests are invariably placed on the ground, usually in shallow depressions under clumps of dense grasses. While courtship behavior has been observed during March, nest construction does not normally begin until the second half of April. Most clutches are produced during the first half of May and broods fledge in June. Meadowlarks normally raise two broods annually and frequently renest if their first attempt fails.