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Sturnella magna -Mexico-8.jpg
Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Sturnella
Vieillot, 1816
  • S. magna
  • S. neglecta

The genus Sturnella are North American grassland birds called meadowlarks. The genus was previously lumped with the South American meadowlarks now placed in the genus Leistes

It includes two or three species of largely insectivorous grassland birds. In all species the male at least has a black or brown back and extensively yellow underparts.

List of species[edit]

There are two widely accepted members of the genus.[1] There is disagreement among authorities as to whether Lilian's meadowlark should be ranked as a full species or a subspecies.


By the early 20th century, the meadowlarks were split. Only the "yellow-breasted" meadowlarks (eastern and western meadowlarks, including Lilian's) remained in the genus Sturnella. The red-breasted and white-browed meadowlarks were moved to the genus Leistes, while the pampas meadowlark, Peruvian meadowlark and long-tailed meadowlark made up the genus Pezites, which was established by Cabanis in 1851. By the late 20th century, all meadowlarks were lumped in the genus Sturnella. In 2017, all the red-breasted meadowlarks were merged into the genus Leistes.



  • del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Christie, David, eds. (2011). Handbook of Birds of the World, volume 16: Tanagers to New World Blackbirds. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-84-96553-78-1. 
  • New World Blackbirds by Jaramillo and Burke, ISBN 0-7136-4333-1

Further reading[edit]

  • Powell, A.F.L.A.; Barker, F.K.; Lanyon, S.M.; Burns, K.J.; Klicka, J.; Lovette, I.J. (2014). "A comprehensive species-level molecular phylogeny of the New World blackbirds (Icteridae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 71: 94–112. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.11.009. PMID 24291659. 

External links[edit]