Streaked brown above and yellow below with distinctive black "V" on breast. In flight, short wings and spiky tail with white outer feathers are apparent. Breeds in fields and grasslands throughout eastern North America, with a disjunct population ("Lilian's" Meadowlark) in the Southwest. Also occurs throughout Mexico and Central America, into northern South America, and in Cuba. Winters in dense grassy habitats, often in small loose groups. Extremely similar to Western Meadowlark and best distinguished by voice: listen for high-pitched, clear whistles and short buzzy calls. In winter, plumage looks slightly darker and more contrasty than Western Meadowlark, with a more contrasting head pattern. Eastern is somewhat more tied to more pristine grassland habitats, but with some overlap.