Talking Lark

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Deep in the heart of the official Off-Leash Area, the Parks staff stores piles of mulch for a rainy day. On one of those heaps, this Western Meadowlark perched and gave the world a piece of its mind. This bird not only sang, it talked. It had some very definite opinions on certain subjects, and if I were only Dr. Doolittle and could speak its language I would tell you what they were. Other meadowlarks on bushes in the vicinity joined in the conversation part of the time, until loose dogs chased them away. This one held its fort for quite some time, until another dog came along and showed interest in the mulch mountains. Then the bird flew off.

It’s meadowlark pairing-up time. The males sing to advertise what great fathers they would be and what terrific DNA they would transmit to the hatchlings. The females choose who they like, and then they build a nest. Meadowlarks build nests on the ground, in grasses and other vegetation, preferably a bit tall for cover. Unfortunately, to please the dog owners, Parks management has now mowed virtually all of the 17 acres a spineless City Council dedicated to loose dogs and their owners more than 20 years ago. And more. Meadowlarks aren’t going to build nests in a mowed meadow. So where can they go?

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

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