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Bobolinks Return to East Aurora

Published May 02, 2013
Tags: Parks and Preserves, Boblink, Common Yellowthroat, Yeloow-rumped Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Brown Thrasher, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk, Eastern Meadowlark, Eastern Bluebird

I've had Bobolinks on my mind for days now - wondering if they've returned from southern South America where they reside during winter. I thought today might be a good day to find out, so after work, I went over to Knox Farm to see if I could find any.  I did; I found two!  Last spring, there were many more, so I'm hoping these two will soon be joined by dozens of friends.

Did you know South American farmers shoot these beautiful birds because the Bobolinks feed on their rice crops? Sadly, their populations have declined considerably because of this genocide. Up here in the north, by the way, the Bobolink feeds on insects.

Also at the farm, I also saw 3 Eastern Meadowlarks, some White-crowned Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, a Brown Thrasher (I'm seeing these guys EVERYWHERE now!), and I watched a Red-tailed Hawk catch his dinner!

After walking the farm trails, I went over to Sinking Ponds in East Aurora to look for warblers. I found many Yellow-rumped, 1 Yellow, and a male Common Yellowthroat. The yellowthroat was VERY cooperative and I got some nice photos of him. A Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was up in the trees along Marsh Trail along with a couple of Song Sparrows.  I could swear I heard bitterns "croaking", but I couldn't find them for the life of me.

As I was leaving, I saw a Belted Kingfisher flying over the marsh near the road. I breathed a sigh of relief: all is well again at Sinking Ponds...

Back home, the House Wren has been singing his little lungs out - ALLLllll day long! I can't imagine singing with such zeal unless you're very happy.

I saw a blackbird today that I thought might be a Rusty Blackbird. Nope; it ended up being a Common Grackle.  It sure looked odd to me - like a reversed Brown-headed Cowbird. Thank you, Doug, for your ID assistance.

Today was the very first day I haven't seen Elvis, our Common Redpoll with the funky hair doo.  I wonder if he's finally taken off...
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Common Yellowthroat (male)
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Common Yellowthroat
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Eastern Meadowlark out in the fields
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Tree Swallow
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Bobolink
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Bobolink
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Bobolink
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The 2 Bobolinks together in the field
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White-crowned Sparrow
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Brown Thrasher - AGAIN!
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Red-tailed Hawk catching dinner
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Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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Yellow-rumped Warbler
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House Wren
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I thought this might have been a Rusty Blackbird - but sadly, just a Common...
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Red-winged Blackbird (male)
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Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Reply from: Joel Malley on 5/5/2013 8:09 PM
 Thanks for the heads up! Stopped by early this morning and saw my first ever bobolink. There were many of them. Also so my first savannah sparrow!
Reply from: Sue on 5/6/2013 2:28 PM
 Congrats on the lifer Bobolink, Joel! That was a great way to start out a day! And I just saw my FOY Savannah this morning at Tifft. My very first ever was at Knox Farm, though!