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Chihuahuan meadowlark

Chihuahuan meadowlark
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Icteridae
Genus: Sturnella
S. lilianae
Binomial name
Sturnella lilianae

Chihuahuan meadowlark (Sturnella lilianae), also known as Lilian's meadowlark, is a bird in the family Icteridae. It is found in northern Mexico and the southwestern portion of the United States. It was formerly usually treated as a subspecies of the eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna).


The Chihuahuan meadowlark was formally described in 1930 by the American ornithologist Harry C. Oberholser as a subspecies of the eastern meadowlark based on a holotype that had been collected in the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona. Oberholser proposed the trinomial name Sturnella magna lilianae.[1] The epithet lilianae was chosen to honor Lilian Hanna Baldwin (wife of ornithologist Samuel Prentiss Baldwin), as she had presented the Cleveland Museum of Natural History with the collection of birds that included the type of the new subspecies.[1][2] It is now treated as a separate species based on the significant morphological, vocal and genomic differences between the Chihuahuan meadowlark and the other subspecies of the eastern meadowlark.[3][4][5]

Two subspecies are recognised:[5]

  • Sturnella lilianae lilianae Oberholser, 1930 – southwest USA and northwest Mexico (Chihuahuan Desert)
  • Sturnella lilianae auropectoralis Saunders, GB, 1934 – west-central Mexico


  1. ^ a b Oberholser, Harry C. (1930). "Notes on a collection of birds from Arizona and New Mexico". Scientific Publications of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. 1 (4): 83-124 [103-104, plate 18.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Beam, J.K.; Funk, E.R.; Taylor, S.A. (2021). "Genomic and acoustic differences separate Lilian's Meadowlark (Sturnella magna lilianae) from Eastern (S. magna) and Western (S. neglecta) meadowlarks". Ornithology. 138 (2): ukab004. doi:10.1093/ornithology/ukab004.
  4. ^ Chesser, R.T.; Billerman, S.M.; Burns, K.J.; Cicero, C.; Dunn, J.L.; Hernández-Baños, B.E.; Jiménez, R.A.; Kratter, A.W.; Mason, N.A.; Rasmussen, P.C.; Remsen, J.V.J.; Stotz, D.F.; Winker, K. (2022). "Sixty-third supplement to the American Ornithological Society's Check-list of North American Birds". Ornithology. 139 (3): ukac020. doi:10.1093/ornithology/ukac020.
  5. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (August 2022). "Oropendolas, orioles, blackbirds". IOC World Bird List Version 12.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 27 August 2022.

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Chihuahuan meadowlark
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