Breeding male Bobolink

A year ago I wrote about my first sighting of a Bobolink at a patch of grassland at the outskirts of Dubuque, Iowa. They are in decline due to the loss of their habitat, large fields with a mixture of grasses and broad-leaved plants. Yesterday I saw at least two males and a female at the same location like last year and it looked like they were feeding their brood in a nest somewhere on the ground between tall grass and wildflowers. Bobolinks have a long journey behind them after they arrive here. They travel about 20000 km (12500 miles) from South America.

Female Bobolink. Non-breeding males look almost the same.

We had a light overcast yesterday. Beside the fact that it takes a little bit of light away, I really liked it because it allowed me to point the lens to the southwest in the afternoon. If you have tried to take a picture of a black bird you know already it can be a challenge to balance the black feathers and a light environment. While shooting again from the car I was able to get really close this time. Wind was probably the biggest problem. The grass and plants swayed the whole time and the birds don’t sit still either. With other words, lack of sharpness was the main reason for throwing out some of my photos at the end of the day.