Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna


Taxonomic note
Sturnella magna (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) and S. lilianae (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) have been lumped as S. magna following AOU (1998), who note the two groups differ in plumage, morphology, and habitat preferences (Lanyon 1962; Rohwer 1972, 1976), but are quite similar in vocalizations (Lanyon 1962).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.htm#.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Near Threatened A2abce+3bce+4abce
2018 Near Threatened A2ace+3ce+4ace
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Not Recognised
2004 Not Recognised
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 25,400,000
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 20,500,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 37000000 medium estimated 2019
Population trend decreasing estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 20-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 20-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -

Population justification: Partners in Flight (2019) estimate the global population size to be 37,000,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification:

Partners in Flight (2019) currently estimate that S. magma is undergoing annual population declines of ~3.26% throughout its range, which equates to a ~24.2% decline across the stipulated ten-year period. Such trends are supported by data from the Breeding Bird Survey, that estimates annual declines of ~3.31%, a ~28.6% decline over ten years (Sauer et al. 2017), and the Christmas Bird Count, that suggests a 3.24% rate of annual decline in the USA, ~28.1% across ten years (Meehan et al. 2018). Whilst the Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count only refer to trends in the USA/Canada and USA respectively, Partners in Flight provide estimates for S. magna's wider population and in the absence of specific trend data from elsewhere in its range, declines are tentatively place in the range 20-29% over the stipulated ten-year period. If population declines are evidenced to be higher throughout its non-North American range however, such rates of decline would need to be placed in a higher band.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Belize extant native yes
Brazil extant native yes
Canada extant native yes
Colombia extant native yes
Costa Rica extant native yes
Cuba extant native yes
El Salvador extant native yes
French Guiana extant native yes
Guatemala extant native yes
Guyana extant native yes
Honduras extant native yes
Mexico extant native yes
Nicaragua extant native yes
Panama extant native yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant vagrant
Suriname extant native yes
USA extant native yes
Venezuela extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Colombia Agua de la Virgen
Colombia Chaviripa-El Rubí
Colombia Hato El Sinai
Colombia La Aurora
Colombia Parque Nacional Natural de Pisba
Mexico Humedales de Alvarado
Mexico Istmo de Tehuantepec - Mar Muerto
Mexico Janos - Nuevo Casas Grandes
Mexico Laguna de Bustillos
Mexico Los Tuxtlas
Mexico Marismas Nacionales
Mexico Montes Azules
Mexico Tecolutla

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 3500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Sturnella magna. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/eastern-meadowlark-sturnella-magna on 10/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 10/06/2023.