Eastern Meadowlark Survey

Eastern meadowlark © John Galluzo, Mass Audubon
Eastern meadowlark © John Galluzo, Mass Audubon

Thank you for a successful first year!

In early 2017, we launched a multi-year citizen science project to study Eastern Meadowlarks. The project aims to collect presence-absence data for Eastern Meadowlarks at randomly selected sites throughout Massachusetts.

In this first year, a total of 50 volunteer birders surveyed over 200 sites from May 15 to June 15, 2017. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who participated—we hope to see you back next year!


Project Overview

Eastern Meadowlarks are in serious decline, both in Massachusetts and elsewhere in North America, and in order to better help this species, we need to know more about their status in Massachusetts.

The data collected through this project will provide valuable information about this species’ current distribution in the Commonwealth, and will form the basis for a better assessment of meadowlark habitat requirements and future conservation needs.

To get the information we need, it is critical that we get help from citizen scientists. There are a lot of potential sites where Eastern Meadowlarks could be nesting, but there are only a few of us! The results of this work will help us develop models for use in evaluating potential sites that have not been visited.

Learn more >


How to Participate

Data submission period was May 15–June 15, 2017

Project data can be easily entered through the Anecdata website on a computer or in the field on a mobile smartphone device. The surveys required are simple and quick to do—10 minutes tops! 

We’ve provided our citizen scientist volunteers with “hotspots” where we specifically need a volunteer to do a meadowlark survey on three separate dates—with preferably at least 3 days in between each date—during the period of May 15 and June 15.

Many of these hotspots will likely not have Eastern Meadowlarks, but knowing where Eastern Meadowlarks are not is just as valuable for scientific analysis as knowing where Eastern Meadowlarks are.

If possible, we also ask that you record information about two other grassland bird species—Bobolinks and Grasshopper Sparrows. However, your main focus should always be Eastern Meadowlarks.


More Information

Not familiar with Eastern Meadowlarks?

Check out our quick guide and listen to their song.

Not familiar with Bobolinks?

Learn more about this species in our Breeding Bird Atlas and listen to their song.

Not familiar with Grasshopper Sparrows?

Learn more about this species in our Breeding Bird Atlas and listen to their song.

Eastern meadowlark © John Galluzzo, Mass Audubon
Eastern meadowlark © John Galluzzo, Mass Audubon
bobolink © Shawn Carey
bobolink © Shawn Carey
Grasshopper sparrow © Dominic Sherony, wikimedia
Grasshopper sparrow © Dominic Sherony, wikimedia
     

Questions?

Contact us at birdconservation@massaudubon.org with any questions you have.