Wake Audubon Blog

The “Links” of 2016

i Jul 16th No Comments by

Authored by Bob Oberfelder

 

In early May 2016, the fields next to Mid Pines Road were alive with a huge flock of Bobolinks.  There were at least 150 Bobolinks in total with the flock breaking up into two or more flocks periodically and then joining together to form one really large flock. This Bobolink flock was the largest flock I have ever seen at one time in one place, and it doubled the number of Bobolinks I have ever seen.  The first photo shows a very small part of the flock in flight. According to Harry Legrand, it is not unusual to see even larger flocks migrating along the coast. Since we only see these birds as spring migrants,  a sighting in any given year in the area around Mid Pines Road is a hit or miss proposition. In breeding plumage, the males are quite showy as seen in the second photo.  In contrast to the showy breeding plumage males, the females resemble an Eastern Meadowlark without a bib or some strange sparrow.   The final photo shows one of the female Bobolinks.  The contrast between males and female is quite striking.  This flock attracted lots of attention from the local birding community and cooperated by staying in the area for at least 2-3 weeks.  Although frequent rain showers accompanied the flock during the first week it was present,  the latter part of their stay permitted better pictures.

 

Bobolink flock in flight at Mid Pines Road, Raleigh. Photo by Bob Oberfelder

Bobolink flock in flight at Mid Pines Road, Raleigh. Photo by Bob Oberfelder

Male Bobolink at Mid Pines Road in Raleigh, May 2016. Photo by Bob Oberfelder

Male Bobolink at Mid Pines Road in Raleigh, May 2016. Photo by Bob Oberfelder

Female Bobolink at Mid Pines Road in May. Photo by Bob Oberfelder

Female Bobolink at Mid Pines Road in May. Photo by Bob Oberfelder

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