I’m going to apologize right now for bringing out ANOTHER post featuring a bird. The hate mail is already piling up:
“If you post one more bird shot this month I’m going to force you to watch the beginning of John Wick until you are left balling in a fetal position in your basement”
“I can’t take it anymore – bird after bird after bird – you’d think nothing intrigues you unless it has feathers on it – damn you birdman”
“Maybe a disease will wipe every one of the species out and I’ll be the only one who has a picture of it”
Oh wait, that last one came from my trash talking brother who just scored a new bird I didn’t have…. and you thought I was the competitive one. To appease both sides of the table, I promise to not feature a bird on the next post and on the bird competition front, this bird is a new check on my list – back at ya buddy hehehe.
Pretty cool bird eh? I am proud to say this bird was in the top echelon of my wish list. The reason for this high position is the unique coloring of the creature and how common it supposedly is in the region where I live. It always amazes me when I read about a bird that has such a footprint around me and I’ve never seen it even once – nada, zippo and nofer. Combine that with the fact it is far from a sparrow as you can get when it comes to difficulty to identify and you have a situation where it has to be at least in your top 5. Technically this bird was fourth on the list last year, but picked off three of them already (the Snowy and two mystery one I haven’t revealed yet) but missed the Painted Bunting when I had a chance (4 out of the top 5 in the tin was pretty impressive last year). Especially annoying was my brother already had on of these.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about this bird!
I lucked out while processing the shoot at Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge on our trip through South Dakota. That whole trip out to Yellowstone is proving to be quite the goldmine for checkmarks making it a close second to Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve for pure bounty. While in the digital darkroom, these shots came up and it floored me – there it was, a top spot on my list already in the tin. In case you do not recognize this bird or you’re a contributor to the hate mail pile, this colorful specimen is a Bobolink. I can’t remember the details when shooting this particular bird (obvious by the fact I didn’t remember it at all). Apparently I just pointed my camera at a fence post and proceeded to photography about 4 different birds in the same 10 minute span (Kingbird, Red-Winged Blackbird, Barn Swallow and the Bobolink one after another). This whole birding thing is easy ha! By the way, here is a shot from the back that gives a better look at the very distinctive coloring on the back of the head – looks like a beige beanie.
Crap, out of shots. Quick, to the reference sites for some interesting facts. This particular specimen is a breeding male as indicated by the buffy nape. Some people refer to the coloring on their back as wearing a tuxedo (backwards). Cornell’s birding website comments that this bird is a major songbird migrant traveling 12,500 miles to and from South America every year – impressive. Knowing my brother’s interest in navigation, he might be interested to know that during migration, Bobolinks can orient itself with the earth’s magnetic field due to iron oxide in the bristles of its nasal cavity and in tissues around the olfactory bulb. Unfortunately, the do not mention how they those bristles come to be. They practice the same lack of fidelity as their Blackbird relatives and a new word for me, they are also polyandrous. This means that the female can lay of clutch of eggs with multiple fathers – knowing the creativity of bird discoverers surprised they didn’t name them Boblikemloose. Lastly, they like rice so much their species name (oryzivorus) even means “rice eating”.
That’s all I have for you folks. Uber stoked I can check this beautiful creature on my Bird Life List. Take it easy everyone and look for an upcoming NON-bird post coming to a web browser near you soon.