Wyoming State Bird

The Western Meadowlark is Wyoming’s State Bird. The tiny brown-black, nine-inch-long little bird was adopted and declared a State Bird for Wyoming on the 5th of February 1927. This one-of-a-kind bird features black and white spotted wings and has a yellow-colored chest with a distinctive black v-shaped collar.

The Western Meadowlark lives in the open across different states in North America. Five other states have declared the Western Meadowlark as their State Bird. These states include:

Western Meadowlark Characteristics

Unlike other birds which love to live on trees or rooftops, this distinctive bird builds its nest on the ground. The Western Meadowlark can lay between three and seven eggs at a time. Its eggs are white and feature tiny brown and purple-colored spots. The eggs of a Western Meadowlark only take fourteen days to hatch.

The Eastern Meadowlark closely resembles the Western Meadowlark. Observe closely, and you’ll notice that the western Meadowlark’s yellow tint stretches to its cheeks. Plus, the two birds have a precise different singing tone. While the eastern Meadowlark prefers to whistle, the Western Meadowlark makes flute-like noises that start on a high note and slowly fade down.

The Meadowlark’s coat turns dull during winter compared to the summer months when it’s the brightest. These birds live in Wisconsin to Texas and migrate Westward toward the Pacific.

Other characteristics of the Western Meadowlark include:

  • A long pointed bill
  • Brown colored head stripes
  • Brown tail that features white tail feathers
  • Features black streaks on its predominantly brown colored upper area
  • Lives in the open dirt roads or other open lands

Western Meadowlark Little-known Facts

The Western Meadowlark loves to dig in the ground for weed seeds, grain, and insects. Its diet consists of sowbugs, cutworms, spiders, beetles, grasshoppers, snails, and caterpillars.

Other little known facts about this bird include:

  • A fully grown Western Meadowlark adult measures between 8 and 11 inches long.
  • The Wyoming State bird is often seen perched on fence posts in vast agricultural lands, singing beautifully
  • They nest on the ground. The Western Meadowlark uses dry grass to build a beautiful round cup-like nest. It uses several dry blades of grass to secure it to the surrounding vegetation, which keeps the nest from rolling away when it’s windy.
  • Other animals and birds that prey on the Western Meadowlark or its eggs include coyotes, weasels, crows, raccoons, hawks, and skunks.
  • Some nests have a significantly open design to view the bird and its eggs inside easily. Other birds of the same species prefer to build a beautiful round nest with a small opening or no opening. On a nest without an open roof, the bird prefers to build a tunnel that’s a few feet long. The bird uses this tunnel to access its home.

The Western Meadowlark is a protected species. While the birds reproduce pretty fast, there’s a significant reduction in their numbers across Wyoming and neighboring areas.

Why The Western Meadowlark is Wyoming’s State Bird

Despite its tiny stature, the Western Meadowlark shows incredible courage and resilience. In the face of worsening climate and dwindling numbers, the bird continues to thrive.

This bird walks elegantly among bison in Wyoming and adorns the landscape with its bright, chirpy presence. Visit Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park or the Yellowstone National Park to see the Western Meadowlark in its natural habitat.

Wyoming state bird
Western meadowlark
Scientific Name
Sturnella neglecta
Year Became Official