SCIENTIFIC NAME: Dolichonyx oryzivorus
The Bobolink is a small songbird with a relatively short tail, prominent conical bill and large, somewhat flat head.
It is one of the world's most impressive songbird migrants, traveling some 12,500 miles to and from southern South America every year.
Both sexes measure about 5.9 - 3 inches in length, with a wingspan of 10.6 inches and weight of 29 - 56 grams.
Breeding males are mostly black with a white back and rump and a rich buffy nape.
Females and nonbreeding males are warm buffy brown, streaked with dark brown on their back and flanks.
They have bold brown stripes on the crown but are unstreaked on the nape of the neck. The bill is pinkish.
Juveniles resemble the females, but are yellower.
CALL: Usual call is a clear, low, liquid “pink”, given in flight. It is heard year round and often repeated. They also give a harsh “chek”.
SONG: A loud bubbling and rolling series of notes, ranging for deep to high and thin, often rendered “bobolink-bobolink-bobolink…”. These notes are frequently uttered during fluttering song flights.
Song is frequently uttered during flight, when perched on a bush, or clinging to the top of a tall weed.
Feeds mainly on seeds (rice, weed seeds and other grains), insects and also spiders. It swallows the seed whole.
Breeds in open and semi-open grassy areas.
During migration and in winter, it can be found in freshwater marshes, grasslands and rice fields.
Breeds from southern Canada and northern United States, and southwards to Colorado, Indiana and northern New Jersey.
Winters in central and southern South America. It may be a very rare vagrant to Western Europe.
The female gathers the nest materials and build an open cup-shaped nest with coarse grasses and weed stems and line it with finer grasses. It is well-hidden in dense vegetation, in a shallow depression at the base of a clump of grass.
The female lays 3 - 7 bluish-gray to pale reddish-brown eggs, heavily spotted with dark. She incubates them for about 10 - 13 days.