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Nebraska Bird Month - Bobolink

Common Name: Bobolink

Scientific Name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Habitat: Bobolink preferred habitat is wet meadow and lowland tallgrass prairie. 

Food: During the breeding season, Bobolinks eat weed seeds, insect larvae, adult insects, spiders, and other arachnids. Bobolinks increasingly depend on rice and sorghum fields for forage on their wintering grounds. 

Nesting: Where preferred breeding habitat has been eliminated (see Conservation), Bobolinks have begun nesting in agricultural fields, particularly alfalfa.

Behavior: Males perform floating flight displays consisting of a series of alternating fast wing beats and short glides while circling over their territories.

Conservation: Much of the Bobolink breeding habitat has been drained and converted to row crop agriculture during the 20th century in Nebraska and throughout the Great Plains. These breeding habitat losses have contributed to population declines of 59% since 1970

Fun Fact: Their song is reminiscent of a melodic R2-D2 vocalization (fictional Star Wars robot), consisting of a rapid flurry of notes.

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