Image of the Day: Bobolink

By Derek Stoner, Conservation Project Coordinator

A male Bobolink sings from atop a fencepost in the Red Clay Valley, May 18, 2011. Image by Derek Stoner.


Today I observed a flock of about 6 male Bobolinks ( brilliant black with gold and white accents) and 45 females (mostly a buff-yellow color with brown streaks)  feeding in a hayfield along Barley Mill Road. 

Flocks of Bobolinks pass through Delaware in the month of May as they head north to their breeding grounds. The First State is not currently known to have any breeding populations of Bobolinks, but with efforts underway to increase healthy grassland habitat, there may be a possibility in the future that we can enjoy their fantastic songs all summer long!

 The chattering song of male Bobolinks rose up from the hayfield, sounding like a convention of characters from old Star Wars movies.  Often-described as sounding like R2-D2, these colorful members of the blackbird family like to feed and nest in hayfields and pastures.  Males perched on fenceposts or treetops and broadcast their incredible song that is a mish-mash of gurgles, chirps, squawks, and warbles.  Check out a great video of Bobolink singing to hear their impressive song.

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