Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meadowlarks Return!

I recall seeing (and hearing) my first Eastern Meadowlarks at my grandmother's farm in central Wisconsin during the early 70's. Decades later, it remains one of my favorite grassland birds to return to Pheasant Branch Conservancy, and it's nice to have such a neat bird come back as early as mid March. There's a fairly respectable population of meadowlarks in the fallow fields just west of the confluence ponds at the end of the creek corridor trail. I've been checking for their arrival each morning since last week and finally spotted four of them on Tuesday, singing sweeping notes at the top of their lungs. The meadowlark's powerful voice compliments the morning prairie choir like no other grassland bird. I think most of us are familiar with it, especially if you've spent any amount of time on a farm here in the Midwest. They're not super shy birds and are easy to spot perched atop a short tree, fence post, or similar structure. Whether at Pheasant Branch, Spring Green Prairie, or Pope Farm Park, the melodious whistles of meadowlarks will be a part of nature I cherish throughout spring and summer.

Eastern Meadowlark © 2011 Mike McDowell

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