There are many colors on the Western meadowlark. Surely one of them should be called "meadowlark lemon"?
There may be as many as three species of meadowlarks, and it is hard to tell them apart. The Western meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) is browner than and not as dark as the Eastern meadowlark. Its head is darker and the yellow of the throat is deeper and more extensive on the malar area. The Western meadowlark is the state bird of Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wyoming. Eastern Washington University had several study skins available, and they all demonstrate some differences in coloration.
This article is from the Spring 2012 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.