Friday, September 16, 2016

Bobolink

Bobolinks are blackbirds.  They breed across the northern United States and southern Canada and winter in Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina. They make an annual round-trip of about over 12420 miles. Renfrew et al. (2015) report a ten-year old, banded male that “presumably made this trip annually, a total distance equal to traveling 5 times around the earth at the equator!”

Bobolink numbers have decreased during the last 50 years. Factors contributing to this decline include hayland mowing, grazing, shooting and trapping (especially in their wintering and migratory ranges), and pesticides. Bobolinks are, nevertheless, relatively easy to find in Minnesota in the summer. These birds were in the Prairie Creek Wildlife Management Area—Koester Prairie Unit on 14 May 2016. I have blogged about Bobolinks in several previous posts, including in December 2011.

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