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Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)

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Bobolinks

Washington Irving called the Bobolink "the happiest bird of our spring...he rises and sinks with the breeze, pours forth a succession of rich tinkling notes ..." Bobolinks nest in hayfields and grasslands, returning north each spring, all the way from southern South America. Listen to more songs... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, vocalization

Bobolink Migration

When Bobolinks return to North America from the tropics each spring, they have completed one of the longest migrations of any songbird in the Americas: roughly 6,000 miles-all the way from northern Argentina to the northern states and Canada. You can learn more about the Bobolink's migration in... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Bobolinks and Grasslands

Male Bobolinks are first to arrive on their breeding grounds in the grasslands. Why are there fewer Bobolinks than in decades past? Probably because the landscape of North America has changed so much. Bobolinks originally nested on native prairies of the Midwest and southern Canada. Much of the... read more »

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The Bubbly Bobolink

Washington Irving called the Bobolink "the happiest bird of our spring." Emily Dickinson called the Bobolink "the rowdy of the meadow" for its bubbly, jangling song. Bobolinks have declined, due to the loss of grasslands. Farmers who delay mowing their hayfields until mid-summer or later - after... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Navigating by Earth's Magnetic Field

How do birds navigate? They steer by landmarks and by the sun and stars. A keen sense of smell helps some birds chart their course. And, it turns out, migrating birds also find their way by responding to the magnetic field of the earth. Iron-rich magnetic crystals inside the upper beak of this... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Spring Creek Forest Preserve

Near Chicago, the Spring Creek Forest Preserve includes acres of woodlands, wetlands, and prairie. The vision is a healthy, sustained, natural area enriching the lives of people while supporting native plants and wildlife. Audubon Chicago Region is helping with restoration. Justin Pepper says of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Peatlands - Maine's Sunkhaze Meadows Refuge

The habitats that comprise Sunkhaze Meadows Refuge in central Maine — including peat bogs, streamside meadows, shrub thickets, cedar swamps, and maple forests — are rich with bird life, like this Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. You’ll also find Bobolinks and more than 20 kinds of warblers during the... read more »

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Grassland Meander

In summer, the grasslands of southern Saskatchewan resound with bird song. This Bobolink is among the birds that combine their voices in a rich, ringing chorus. Through these grasslands flows the Frenchman River, twisting and looping — the epitome of a meandering river. The southern reaches of... read more »

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