Friday, June 14, 2013

goose-steppin' lark

I guess, if you spend a lot of time walking through the grass, you need to develop a high-stepping gate.

Found in meadows as the name suggests, an Eastern meadowlark sings a song often described as bittersweet. If that is so, perhaps it knows that the species is listed as number 6 on Audubon's list of Common Birds in Decline. In the past 40 years, their population has dropped 72 percent. 

The reason: Habitat loss. Meadows being converted to subdivisions or cornfields and the ones kept in grasses are often mowed too early in the season.

Audubon magazine writes, "Like many grassland birds, meadowlarks are threatened by changes in farming. With the recent push for ethanol and other biofuels, there is a real danger that many acres currently being protected under the farm bill's Conservation Reserve Program will be converted from the meadowlark's prairie habitat to cornfields."

Other species in decline I've blogged about:


- Top photo by Jason Dykes. Thanks, Jason.

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