Bobolinks

The Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus, is a small New World blackbird.

Range

Bobolinks are long-distance migratory birds that often travel in flocks to Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. They may wander to Europe, mostly to the British Isles

They often feed on cultivated grains and rice, which leads to them being considered a pest by farmers in some areas.

Description

Bobolinks measure 16–18 cm (6–8 in) in length with short finch-like bills.

Adult males are mostly black, although they do display creamy napes, and white “shoulder feathers” (scapulars), lower backs and rumps.

Adult females are mostly light brown, although their coloring includes black streaks on the back and flanks, and dark stripes on the head; their wings and tails are darker.

Approximate distribution of the Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Blue: breeding, ochre: wintering
Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus - Female

Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus - eggs

Nesting / Breeding

Their breeding habitats are open grassy fields, especially hay fields, across North America. In high-quality habitats, males are often polygynous. Females lay 5 to 6 eggs in a cup-shaped nest, which is always situated on the ground and is usually well-hidden in dense vegetation. Both parents feed the young.

Diet / Feeding

Bobolinks feed on insects and seeds, usually foraging on or near the ground.

Call / Vocalization

The male’s song has been described as a bright bubbly song in flight.

Bobolink
Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus
Bobolink
Immature Bobolink
Male

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Immature Bobolink