USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Bobolink -- Dolichonyx oryzivorus


RANGE: Breeds from southern interior British Columbia across southern Canada and central Ontario south to eastern Oregon, central Colorado, central Illinois, and central New Jersey. Winters in South America.

STATUS: Locally common, although numbers are decreasing in the Northeast due to a decline in agriculture; extending range in the West because of irrigation.

HABITAT: Prefers large open fields of tall grass, alfalfa, clover, or grain crops, but also inhabits wet meadows, ungrazed to lightly grazed mixed-grass prairies, and fallow fields. During migration, frequents marshes and grain fields.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Large expanses of grassland or forb cover.

NEST: Builds nest on the ground, usually in a hollow scraped in the ground or in a natural depression, rarely above ground attached to plant stems. Always locates nest in dense stands of tall vegetation such as hay, alfalfa, clover, or thick growths of weeds.

FOOD: Prefers to forage in cultivated grain fields, gleaning insects, seeds of weeds and grasses, and waste grain from standing vegetation and on the ground.

REFERENCES: Beal 1900, Bent 1958, DeGraff et al. 1980, Forbush and May 1955, Johnsgard 1979.


Previous Section -- Family Emberizidae
Return to Family List
Return to Contents

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/forest/species/dolioryz.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 19:24:23 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]