About the Bobolink
Also known as: Maybird, Butterbird, Ricebird, Reedbird, Skunk Blackbird

Bobolinks are small migratory blackbirds that breed across northern parts of the United States into Canada. Males in breeding plumage are striking and unusual, with black fronts and light, white and creamy, backs. After breeding, Bobolinks migrate down to Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay in central South America.

Bobolinks breed in grasslands, a habitat that has suffered decline. In their wintering grounds, they feast on grains, and are called "ricebirds" by some locals for this reason.

Bobolinks have a bubbling, mechanical-sounding song, which is sung in flight by the males.

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Details & Statistics


The Bobolink is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

International Names

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