A smartphone snapping a photo of a bright yellow flower in a grassy field

In late spring photographers might catch a glimpse of the bobolink, a distinctive bird of Refuge’s grasslands, at Freeland Boardwalk and along the Beall Trails. The bobolink is the only American bird that is black underneath and white on the back. This coloring makes the male stand out while he is performing his displays. This bird’s song is as distinctive as its look and its melodious, bubbling song fills the air.

In the summer, female bobolink makes a well-hidden nest on the ground for her young using grasses and weeds. Sometimes there is even a grassy cover to protect her young. After their eggs hatch both parents provide food to their young.

The bobolink’s extraordinary migration can cover over 12,000 miles annually starting as far north as Canada and continuing as far south as Argentina. No wonder these birds arrive late and leave early!

Winter on the refuge is a great time to see Rough Legged Hawks.