Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)


French: Goglu des prés German: Reisstärling Spanish: Tordo charlatán

Fringilla oryzivora


, 1758,

South Carolina, USA




S Canada (interior SE British Columbia E to S Ontario, S Quebec and Nova Scotia, to E Newfoundland) S in USA to Oregon, N Colorado, Nebraska, C Illinois and Virginia; isolated populations in C Washington, NE Nevada, N Utah, Kansas, NC Kentucky and E Arizona; migrates to non-breeding grounds mostly in E Bolivia (Beni and Santa Cruz), SC Brazil (Pantanal of Mato Grosso), Paraguay, and N Argentina (R Paraná Basin S to N Buenos Aires).

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; male average 47 g, female average 37·1 g. Emberizid-like icterid with long, pointed wings and sharply pointed tail feathers. Male breeding has large,... read more


Song, by male only, in flight or from perch, a pleasant, fast series of warbles, gurgles and some... read more


In breeding season mostly wet meadows; commonly also hay fields, pastures of alfalfa (Medicago... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds and insects. On breeding grounds stomach contents indicate 57% arthropods, including beetles (Coleoptera), Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera... read more


Season May–Jul; usually single-brooded. Monogamous to polygynous. Male defends territory of 0·5–2 ha, containing 1... read more


Long-distance migrant. Entire population migrates to C South America, making round trip of c. 20,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant; less numerous at periphery of breeding range. Declining in numbers; continues to suffer loss of breeding habitat (... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 13 December 2019).