State Bird of Kansas – Western Meadowlark
The Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) became the official Kansas state bird in 1937. While there are an abundant variety of birds found in Kansas, the Western Meadowlark was voted on by state school children by a survey conducted by the Kansas Audubon Society.
The Western Meadowlark adults have a black and white striped head with yellow cheeks and throat. Its beak is pointed and they have a noticeable “V” on its breast. The Western Meadowlark is a medium-sized bird and is related to blackbirds and orioles. Its wings are brown, black, and white and these vibrant birds blend nicely with flowers in bloom such as the yellow Wild Native Sunflower.
Most often the Western Meadowlark can be found in nests on grasslands in the western and central regions of the U.S. including Kansas. However, it is also the state bird of five other U.S. states: Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming.
The Kansas state bird forages for its food, including insects such as grasshoppers, grain seeds, and berries. The Western Meadowlark has a distinctive whistle-like call that described as flute-like. You may also find the territorial male Western Meadowlark perched on fences, poles, and wires.