Bobolink

(Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

Conservation Status
Bobolink
Photo by Lynn Rubey
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5B - Secure Breeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

6 to 8 in length

11½ wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
 

A bubly, metalic song with 25 to 50 notes lasting about 3½ seconds.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Open grasslands

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

Late April to early October

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common migrant and breeder

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Passeriformes (perching birds)  
 

Family

Icteridae (American blackbirds, orioles, New World blackbirds)  
 

Genus

Dolichonyx (bobolinks)  
       
 

 

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Dan W. Andree

 
 

Bobolink balancing on a branch in the wind....

It first had both feet clamped on the left side branch but the wind was brisk and made it sway so much it decided to put one on each side to help balance itself while it perched briefly. Taken at a Prairie Preserve in Norman col Mn. June 2020. It would flick its wings at times and tail feathers to balance itself while the wind blew. Interesting color markings. Bobolinks make nice sounds and nice birds.

  Bobolink  
 

Lynn Rubey

 
  Breeding male Bobolink the only North American bird to have a white back and black under parts, he flew up to the grass sang for a few minutes looking around then flew back down to the ground in The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.   Bobolink  
           
  Breeding Male Bobolink in this photo the straw colored patch on back of the head is clearly visible, as he balanced himself on some dried native prairie grass in The Big Stone National Wildlife refuge.   Bobolink  
           
  A female or non-breeding male Bobolink in the native prairie fields of The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.   Bobolink  
           
 

A breeding male Bobolink in flight along the Minnesota River.

 
    Bobolink      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

 

     
 
Slideshows
 
Bobolink
Allen Chartier
  Bobolink  
Bobolink
JMC Nature Photos
  Bobolink  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Bobolink
The Music of Nature
 
   
 
About

The Music of Nature

This video celebrates the amazing song of the Bobolink, described by one author as "a mad, wreckless song fantasia—an outbreak of pentup irrepressible glee," and by another as "a bubbling delirium of ecstatic music that flows from the gifted throat of the bird like sparkling champagne."

The Bobolink is a member of the Blackbird family. It frequents grassy meadows of the northern states and adjacent Canada. Also referred to as "skunk blackbird," the male has striking black-and-white plumage, making identification easy. Females are a buffy yellow-brown.

© 2010 Lang Elliott & Bob McGuire
The Music of Nature
musicofnature.org

   
  Bobolink-Richland, OR-060311.mp4
Christopher Christie
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 7, 2011

Bobolink, Dolichonyx oryzivorus (Linnaeus, 1758). The Breeding range of Bobolinks extends into eastern Oregon, including Baker County. This bird was one of perhaps three males hopefully Breeding in a hay field of Timothy in Richland, OR, on June 3rd, 2011. According to ODFW (Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife), "due to land use change and other factors, this grassland bird species is declining in Oregon." I can tell you that it is not very often seen in any event, but it is also sometimes observed here in the Baker Valley.

   
  Bobolink Portrait
ebirdr
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 9, 2012

The Bobolink is fairly common.It can be found in hayfields, weedy meadows and in migration, marshes. The male is a distinctive bird. It is completely black below, mostly white above. The hindneck is buff but fades to white near the end of summer. The female is a rich buffy sparrow-like bird with dark stripes on crown, back, and sides. Note the sharply pointed tail feathers.

The song is a bubbling "banjo-like" tune given in hovering flight. The flight call is a soft "ink".

   
  Bobolink in Maine
WIld Bird Video Productions
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 11, 2012

This male Bobolink was defending his patch of pasture against two other males.Their song makes quite an impression for sure! The Bobolinks and other grassland birds coexist with grass fed cattle on this farm. © 2012 Garth McElroy. www.wildbirdvideos.com

License at http://www.paya.com/videos/139303

   
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Dan W. Andree
June 2020

Location: Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Pavia Unit, Norman Co. Mn.

It first had both feet clamped on the left side branch but the wind was brisk and made it sway so much it decided to put one on each side to help balance itself while it perched briefly. Taken at a Prairie Preserve in Norman col Mn. June 2020. It would flick its wings at times and tail feathers to balance itself while the wind blew. Interesting color markings. Bobolinks make nice sounds and nice birds.

Bobolink  
  Dave Zelinsky
5/20/2020

Location: Carver Park Preserve, Victoria, MN

   
  Lynn Rubey
5/23/2019

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A breeding male Bobolink in flight along the Minnesota River.

Bobolink  
  Karen T.
5/15/2019

Location: Saint Francis, MN

   
  David Ayer
7/11/2012

Location: Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

   
           
 
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