Saturday, May 27, 2017

Bobolink

On 19 May 2016, I drove out to Cody Lake in search of Bobolinks. Here is a different prospective of the single Bobolink I found, taken out Erika’s car sunroof. The Bobolink’s strange plumage, black below and pale or white above, results in the bird’s being sometimes called Skunk Blackbird (Renfrew et al. 2015). Many birds exhibit countershading, light below and darker above. This pattern tends to flatten the bird and makes it harder for predators to see them. Presumably the Bobolinks’ reverse countershading makes the males more visible to potential mates. In nonbreeding plumages, the males molt into a brown, streaky pattern similar to the females.

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