Identification of the newest meadowlark – Chihuahuan

In their 2022 checklist supplement the AOS voted to elevate the southwestern populations of Eastern Meadowlark to a full species, with the name Chihuahuan Meadowlark. it’s been recognized as a distinctive population for decades, usually under the name Lilian’s Meadowlark, but making it a full species raises the stakes and adds new emphasis to a serious identification challenge.
I’ve put together a one-page summary of the visual differences between the three species of meadowlarks, as well as regional variation in Eastern and Western meadowlarks. This is still a work in progress. Feel free to download, share, and print, and please share any feedback either in the comments or through the contact form.

4 thoughts on “Identification of the newest meadowlark – Chihuahuan”

  1. Another ID note for Chihuahan is the more ochre-y yellow (some say “saffron”) on the breast. It’s not as lemony as either Eastern or Western. The auriculars of Chihuahuan are also paler with less streaking.

  2. Patrick Livecchi

    Great news! Live in the Phoenix AZ area and often explore the grasslands of southern AZ……my wife is from Kansas so meadowlarks always seem to be a touchstone of sorts……there is also an eastern bluebird subspecies down there – azure bluebird Sialia sialis fulva……

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