Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Common, although there are widespread declines in the Eastern States.
HABITAT: Prefers pastures, but also occurs in other grass-dominated habitats such as hayfields, grassy meadows, tallgrass prairies, open fields of corn, alfalfa, and clover, and weedy orchards. Prefers moist meadows and lowlands at the western edge of its range, where distribution overlaps that of the western meadowlark.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open grasslands with elevated singing perches such as fences, poles, or lone trees.
NEST: Builds nest on the ground in a natural depression or scrape, well concealed by a canopy of vegetation bent over the nest, preferably in cover 10 to 20 inches high.
FOOD: Gleans food from the ground and low vegetation. During summer, mainly eats insects; in winter, primarily eats seeds of weeds and grasses, and waste grain, except in southerly states where insects are still available.
REFERENCES: Bent 1958, Johnsgard 1979, Lanyon 1957, Roseberry and Klimstra 1970, Tate and Tate 1982.