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Bobolink Dolichonyx oryzivorus


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Bobolink, breeding male
credit:  pbonenfant/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Icteridae, Blackbirds and Orioles view all from this family

Description ADULT BREEDING MALE Has mostly black plumage, but with buff nape, white rump, and white "shoulder" patch (scapulars); edges of tertials and greater coverts are edged white. ADULT BREEDING FEMALE Has buffy brown plumage overall, with dark streaking on back, and with dark centers and buff margins to covert feathers and tertials. Head has dark stripe behind eye and dark crown with pale central stripe. Throat is pale and underparts are otherwise pale buff, with dark streaking on flanks. ALL OTHER PLUMAGES Similar to breeding female, but warmer buff overall.

Dimensions Length: 6-8" (15-20 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Aug) to tall-grass prairies and weedy meadows. Winters in central South American grassland.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range Western Canada, California, Southwest, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Eastern Canada, Northwest, New England, Rocky Mountains, Texas, Plains, Great Lakes

Voice Song (given in flight) is a fluty and vaguely onomatopoeic b'bob-o-lii'ink followed by various chattering notes; call is a melodious pink.

Discussion Well-marked grassland bird. Often perches conspicuously and forms flocks outside breeding season. Male performs song flight in spring. Sexes are dissimilar.