Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 06/16/2017

Photo taken on June 15, 2017

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side view
SW of Calgary
Anne Elliott
Dolichonyx oryzivorus
16–18 cm (6.3–7.1 in) long
15 June 2017

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Bobolink / Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Bobolink / Dolichonyx oryzivorus
I am posting this photo just as a record of having seen this Bobolink yesterday, 16 June 2017. With a lot of luck, maybe I can get a better shot eventually - with a lot of patience, too! These birds are rarely seen, so it is nice to get any kind of photo. I did fairly well a year ago, luckily.

"Perched on a grass stem or displaying in flight over a field, breeding male Bobolinks are striking. No other North American bird has a white back and black underparts (some have described this look as wearing a tuxedo backwards).

Added to this are the male’s rich, straw-colored patch on the head and his bubbling, virtuosic song. As summer ends he molts into a buff and brown female-like plumage. Though they’re still fairly common in grasslands, Bobolink numbers are declining." From AllAboutBirds.

"The Bobolink inhabits Canada's grassland and agricultural areas from the interior of British Columbia to the east coast. Relative to 1970 levels, this species has shown a large decrease across most of its range, with the exception of the Prairie Potholes Bird Conservation Region where populations have changed little. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada assessed the Bobolink as Threatened in 2010 (COSEWIC 2010d). This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada."

Yesterday morning, I decided to join friends for a botany walk in North Weaselhead. We saw a good variety of species, including a few quite special ones, such as Striped Coralroot (orchid) and Indian Breadroot. Thanks for a great walk, Barry! We also saw a tiny Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

After going for coffee with a couple of the botany people (thanks so much, Peter!), I went home for lunch and then decided to drive SW of the city, in the hope of maybe seeing a Great Gray Owl and/or a Bobolink. No luck with an owl, but, with a lot of patience, I did finally see a Bobolink. I only had very distant views, so managed to get only photos to post for my records. I did better a year ago, but it is early still.

It was so nice to bump into Bonnie and her neighbour, Russel(l), on my drive. They mentioned a road that I had never been on before and I decided to give it a try. Such a beautiful road, though I had no idea where I was the whole time. When I got home and checked on Google, I was surprised to see just where I had driven.