While birding with former Sisters, Oregon birder, Sally Johnsen today, we saw a flock of mid-sized birds fly in from about 150 feet and land near the top of some huge Fremont cottonwoods on The Tubac Golf Course, in Arizona. I said what the heck are those. Sally said Starlings - which was reasonable, but when we got our binculars on them, they were a flock of about 15 meadowlarks. (Both Eastern and Western occur in the area.) I have never seen meadowlarks flying high, landing and appearing content high in a tree. The leaves on the cottonwoods are still small, though growing rapidly, giving us clear looks at the birds.
I think this is another example of not assuming that a reported bird that is acting in a way that one doesn’t expect to have been a mis-identification