Montana State Bird

Montana State Bird

Montana was one of the last states to become an official state of the US. Still, ranking at 41. It was given legislation on November 8 of 1899. The capital city of Montana is Helena while its nickname is the Treasure state. The state certainly treasures its official state bird, which is something the species certainly deserves.

What Is The State Bird Of Montana?

The Western Meadowlark has been Montana’s state bird since 1931. The species won the popularity poll among schoolchildren by an overwhelming amount. It is a small, yellow-colored bird with shades of brown, white, and black in its wings and the upper part of the body. It also has a splash of black in the V shape around its neck. The size of the bird’s face is extremely small compared to its body.


What Makes The State Bird Of Montana Unusual?

Its call sets the Montana state bird apart. The flute-like sound coming from the Western Meadowlark is capable of brightening the worst of days. The appearance also garners some curiosity. After all, there aren’t that many bird species that sport such a vivid shade of lemon yellow on their body. The black V mark on their neck has also piqued curiosity over the years.

Western Meadowlark Migration

Montana State Bird Facts

The Montana official state bird deserves to be more well known.  Let’s get to know the species more!

1. There are notable similarities in appearance between Western and Eastern Meadowlark. Yet, rarely are the two species seen interbreeding with each other. Captive breeding between the two species has been done as an experiment. The hybrid birds that came out of this endeavor were fertile but weren’t successful in hatching most of their eggs safely.

2. While Western Meadowlark are feeding, they employ a technique known as gaping. Here, they insert their bill inside a bark or into the solid ground. Then, they force a hole into it by using the force of their bill. This gives them access to insects and other food inside the bark or the soil that most bird species can’t reach.

3. The roof of the nests of the Western Meadowlark are made with grass. This makes the nest vulnerable to people accidentally stepping on it but also makes them safe from predators who might not notice the nest due to the grass roof over it. The entrance tunnels of these nests are also seven feet long in some cases.

Final Thoughts

Western Meadowlark is certainly a common sight in Montana. It would be weirder if you didn’t spot one when you are visiting the state. The grassy areas of Montana usually get the most visits from this bird species, though you can attract them to your backyard with the right feeder. You better have your binoculars ready, since it is absolutely integral that you see the species up close.


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