All about the world's 8 meadowlark species, birds in the genera Sturnella and Leistes.

October 19, 2023

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This episode is about all the Meadowlarks of the world.

And it’s not just those three North American species: the Western, Eastern, and Chihuahuan.

There are actually 8 bird species we call meadowlarks. The other five are found primarily in South America. We’ll be talking about them today, too.

Meadowlarks belong to the New World Blackbird family, Icteridae. This family includes birds like Red-winged Blackbird, Baltimore Oriole, and the Great-tailed Grackle.

There’s a lot to admire about meadowlarks. The 3 yellow-breasted and 5 red-breasted meadowlark species bring color and music to the windswept grasslands of the Americas.

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Research Citations


Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). Photo by FotoRequest/Adobe.
Red-breasted Meadowlark (Leistes militaris). Photo by Gerard/Adobe.
White-browed Meadowlark (Leistes superciliaris). Photo by Alfonso/Adobe.
Long-tailed Meadowlark (Leistes loyca). Photo by Johannes Jensas/Adobe.


  • Western Meadowlark sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC254455)
  • Eastern Meadowlark sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC320486)
  • Eastern Meadowlark sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC320478)
  • Peruvian Meadowlark sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC243133)
  • Peruvian Meadowlark sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC251574)
  • Long-tailed Meadowlark sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC48041)
  • Chihuahuan Meadowlark sounds (Xeno Canto recording XC230111)

This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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