We used radio telemetry to study post-breeding movements of adult female and juvenile Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) in southwestern Wisconsin in 2002-2004. Twenty-one adult females were found 58% of the time in their nest field regardless of nest fate. Three adult females were not found outside of the field where their nests were located. Fifteen of 18 females that moved from the nest field at least once moved to Conservation Reserve Program fields or pasture. The average maximum distance females moved was 662 m. Once females left the nest field, 61% did not return. Twelve juveniles from different broods survived to the end of the post-breeding season. Two juveniles did not move from their nest fields during the monitoring period. Eight of 10 juveniles that moved at least once moved into Conservation Reserve Program fields, remnant prairie or pasture. The average maximum distance moved by juveniles was 526 m. Once juveniles started to leave the nest field, 67% did not return. Grassy habitats appear to be important in the post-breeding period for Eastern Meadowlarks. Management should be directed toward maintaining or enhancing the amount and quality of those habitats.
Additional publication details
Post-breeding season habitat use and movements of eastern meadowlarks in southwestern Wisconsin