The Western Meadowlark: State Bird of North Dakota

Does the chirping of a meadowlark sound familiar to you? If yes, chances are it was the Western Meadowlark, also known as North Dakota’s state bird. This vibrant yellow songbird has been an official symbol of the state since 1947.

In this blog post, we’re going to delve deep into everything there is to know about this cheerful creature and why it holds such significance in the Peace Garden State. Get ready, because things are about to get interesting!

Key Takeaways

  • The state bird of North Dakota is the Western Meadowlark, a vibrant yellow songbird.
  • The Western Meadowlark has a bright yellow chest and stomach with a V – shaped black band around its neck.
  • This bird stays in North Dakota all year, sings flute-like songs to attract mates, and prefers a diet of bugs and insects.


Understanding the State Bird of North Dakota: The Western Meadowlark

The Western Meadowlark is the state bird of North Dakota, known for its distinctive appearance, behavior, and diet.

Appearance of the Western Meadowlark

The Western Meadowlark is a stunning bird. It has a bright yellow chest and stomach that stand out. A V-shaped black band wraps around its neck, adding charm to its white head. This bird’s size ranges from 6.5 to 10 inches long with a wingspan of about 16 inches.

The male draws attention with his flute-like song that he sings when trying to attract females.

Behavior of the Western Meadowlark

The Western Meadowlark stays in North Dakota all year. It does not fly to other places. This bird is loyal to its home state. The male bird sings a song that sounds like a flute. He does this to make female birds want to mate with him.

After the male and female birds mate, it is the female’s job to build the nest. The male bird brings food and watches out for danger while she builds their home. Their diet mostly has bugs and insects but they will also eat berries and seeds if needed.

Diet of the Western Meadowlark

The Western Meadowlark has a liking for bugs and insects. They are always hunting to feed their family. Seeds and berries are part of their diet too. When winter comes, they eat more grain seeds.

In the fall, weed seeds become their top pick. They make many trips to each nest with food to keep all members full.

Why the Western Meadowlark is Chosen as the State Bird of North Dakota

The Western Meadowlark was chosen as the state bird of North Dakota because it represents the loyalty and beauty of the state. It never leaves North Dakota, making it a symbol of staying true to one’s home.

The vibrant yellow chest and stomach of the Western Meadowlark also make it easily recognizable in North Dakota. With its white head and black neck band, it stands out among other birds.

The Western Meadowlark is not only unique to North Dakota but is also shared as a state bird with five other states. Its presence in North Dakota reflects the pride that residents have for their state and its natural wonders.

Other Symbols of North Dakota Related to the State Bird

The Western Meadowlark, North Dakota’s state bird, is not the only symbol of significance in the state. Here are some other symbols related to the state bird:


  • State Fruit: Chokecherry
  • State Beverage: Milk
  • Capitol: Bismarck
  • Coat of Arms
  • Dance: Square Dance
  • Fish: Northern Pike
  • State Flag
  • State Flower: The Wild Prairie Rose
  • Fossil: Teredo Petrified Wood
  • Grass: Western Wheatgrass


Frequently Asked Questions about the State Bird of North Dakota

  • What is the state bird of North Dakota?
  • What does the Western Meadowlark look like?
  • How does the Western Meadowlark behave?
  • What does the Western Meadowlark eat?
  • Why was the Western Meadowlark chosen as the state bird of North Dakota?



In conclusion, the Western Meadowlark is a special bird that holds a significant place in North Dakota. Its vibrant appearance and unique behaviors make it an ideal choice as the state bird.

By choosing this beautiful bird, North Dakota has showcased its rich natural heritage and deep connection with its grasslands.


1. What is the state bird of North Dakota?

The state bird of North Dakota is the Western Meadowlark.

2. How did the Western Meadowlark become the state bird of North Dakota?

The Western Meadowlark was chosen as the state bird of North Dakota in 1947 because it is commonly found throughout the state and its cheerful song symbolizes the beauty of nature.

3. Where can I see a Western Meadowlark in North Dakota?

You can see a Western Meadowlark in open grasslands, prairies, and agricultural fields across North Dakota.

4. What does a Western Meadowlark look like?

A Western Meadowlark has bright yellow plumage with black V-shaped markings on its chest and a distinctive black-and-white striped head pattern. It also has a melodious song that is often heard during spring and summer months.


Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.