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 Eastern Meadowlark

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Eastern Meadowlark.

Use the links below to view the Eastern Meadowlark reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View Eastern Meadowlark sightings.
Eastern Meadowlark Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 19
Spring 2003 77
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 11
Summer 2002 10
Spring 2002 123
Winter 01-02 4
Fall 2001 58
Summer 2001 20
Spring 2001 105
Winter 00-01 4
Fall 2000 12
Summer 2000 30
Spring 2000 127
Winter 00-99 5
Fall 1999 5
Spring/Summer 1999 15

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Eastern Meadowlark

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Sturnella magna magna (Linnaeus)
Eastern Meadowlark

Common summer resident in the Lower Peninsula; less common in the Upper Peninsula. A few winter in the southern counties.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 414).

SPRING.-Arrival is reported in the southern counties in early March, and in the Upper Peninsula about the middle of the month or somewhat later.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940:196) has usually recorded arrival in the Toledo-Erie marsh area in the first few days of March. Swales (1903: 37) also reported arrival in the Detroit area in early March; R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker observed 20 there on March 25, 1934. The species is reported in the Ann Arbor region in March and early April, and specimens (U.M.M.Z.) have been taken there as early as March 1 (1934), and March 15 (1904). Walkinshaw has recorded arrival in Calhoun County in late February and early March (1930 to 1940) ; Gibbs (1885: 119) recorded the species as abundant in Kalamazoo County by late March. D. W. Doug- lass reported 1 to 6 at Sand Point, Huron County, from mid-April to early May (1931 to 1933).

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens at McMillan, Luce County, and Christofferson at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, have reported the species during the latter part of March: Christofferson saw 3 on March 16,1940; Bryens noted 1 on March 22, 1938, and 5 on March 30, 1939.

SUMMER.-Nesting dates extend from early May to July, and occasion- ally to mid-August.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales recorded several nests in the Detroit area: one "with 4 eggs on May 17,1890, another, with fledglings, on June 11,1916; near Ann Arbor, F. J. Hinds found a nest with 6 eggs, on May 11, 1934. N. A. Wood (1922: 20) observed the species in Berrien County in May and believed it nested in the region, and Gibbs (1885: 119) listed it as a common summer resident in Kalamazoo County. A nest with 2 young was found near Rush Lake, Huron County, by N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911:291) on August 15, 1908. R. E. Morrill collected a nest with 5 eggs (U.M.M.Z.) on Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, June 28, 1937, and Van Tyne (1925: 621) listed the species as common on the mainland of the same county. Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) have found it commonly in Cheboygan County, and found a nest with 5 newly hatched young on July 11, 1931.

Upper Peninsula.-Van Tyne (1923: 23) found the species uncommon in summer on Les Cheneaux Islands, Mackinac County; R. E. Olsen and T. D. Hinshaw saw at least 15 Eastern Meadowlarks on May 6, 1934, at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County, and N. A. Wood (1914: 67) believed one or more pairs nested at Whitefish Point in the same county. Bryens has found nests at McMillan, Luce County, on several occasions: a nest with 5 eggs on July 2, 1933; nest with 4 eggs on June 8, 1936. N. A. Wood (1918: 10) listed the species in summer from Whitefish Lake and vicinity, Alger County, and Van Tyne noted several in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, in late June, 1936. A specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was taken July 12, 1932, at Ironwood, Gogebic County, by Leonard Wing (1940: 192), and the species was observed as a rare summer resident at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, by N. A. Wood (1933: 723).

FALL.-Main flight occurs in October.

Upper Peninsula.-Trautman saw 36 Eastern Meadowlarks near Ewen, Ontonagon County, on October 2, 1934, and 12 on October 5, 1934, near Covington, Baraga County. Bryens has recorded the species at McMillan, Luce County, until mid-October (October 9, 1941; October 14, 2023), and Christofferson has noted it somewhat later at Blaney, Schoolcraft County (5 on October 11,1939; 15 on October 25, 2023).

Lower Peninsula.-Max M. Peet collected 2 specimens at Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, on October 11, 1937. J. Claire Wood (1913: 17) saw 20 Meadowlarks near Lincoln, Alcona County, on October 5, and N. A. Wood (1911: 99) saw 1 on September 29 on Charity Island, Huron County. Gibbs (1885: 119) noted that the species usually remained in Kalamazoo County until November, though F. W. Rapp (1931: 20) did not record it in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, later than October 28 (1911). Swales (1903: 37; and notes) usually recorded departure from the Detroit area by October but recorded 35 on November 20, 1908; 60 on November 21, 1908; 200 on December 1, 1900; 50 on December 17, 1900. L. W. Camp- bell (1940: 155, 209) reported the species in the Toledo-Erie marsh area usually until the last of October, and in 1931, he recorded it as late as December 19.

WINTER.-Swales occasionally observed numbers of Eastern Meadow- larks in winter in the Detroit area: 7 on January 10, 1913; 25 on February 7, 1909; and 25 on February 14, 1891. J. Claire Wood (1910: 39) saw between 50 and 75 in the same area on January 20. A few are reported in the Ann Arbor region: one was seen by H. B. Sherman on January 1, 1921; 1 was observed on January 1, and 5 on January 27, 1924, by A. D. Tinker; and 1 was collected by N. A. Wood on January 4, 1902. F. W. Rapp (1931:20) recorded the species in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, on February 6, 1910, and January 28, 1922.

Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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