Thursday, August 13

Bobo's at Bear Butte

Yesterday I took a drive to Bear Butte Lake, near Bear Butte. This is a pic of both, taken from a path along the W side of the lake. Mato Paha or “Bear Mountain” is the Lakota name given to this site. This geological formation is one of several intrusions of igneous rock in the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago. The mountain is sacred to many American Indian tribes who come here to hold religious ceremonies.

Along the path, I found lots of the above bird. Back home, I found the female bobolink in my field guide and it was a match. I had to go through all the perching birds cause I had NO clue what this was. Heck, a bobolink?! Yahoo! They are not found in the Black Hills, but then I was outside of the NE edge of the Hills.

How funky is this bird?! I saw 2-3 of these mottled birds among the many females. I have drawn the conclusion that either A) Mom and Dad are not the same species or B) this is a male juvie bobolink or C) both! See the light patch on the back of the head? Bobolink! I don't know whether to be excited that I've seen bobolinks, or disappointed I didn't see any adult males. Unless this dude is, like, a cross-gendered wonder.
Update: Thanks bunches Warren, Caroline, and Hap, you're right, this is a male bobolink molting! I looked at Red and the Peanut's blog post of July 27th as Caroline mentioned, and those photos are a mirror image of my motley fellow. Cripes, it's hard enough to ID birds when they're in their normal phase, now I gotta figure out what a molter looks like? And, Wow Hap, they fly to S America for 7 mo's? Well, I can't blame 'em considering SD winters...would someone book me on that flight, too?! Geez, so much to learn, so little time.


  1. Looks like whatever bird it is, it's in heavy moult! Always makes ID tricky.

  2. Wow, ok, maybe it is an adult male..?

  3. I really enjoy your photos Jann!

  4. I think you did see adult males, and this guy is one of them, molting into non-breeding season plumage.

    Check out and look at the July 27th entry. Sure looks like your guy to me. Lady lives in Ohio, but same bobolinks as here. :o)

  5. Hi Jann,
    I agree, it seems to be an adult male
    molting into its winter plumage to be
    worn in South America for the next six
    or seven months. Great photo by the way!

    Hap in New Hope (MN)

  6. Great picture of Bear Butte across the water! Nice!!

  7. Hi Jann, I couldn't have ID either one but you got wonderful photos. Of course I've heard of them but never seen one. You have a great assortment of birds in your area. That first pix deserves to be on a magazine cover.

    You asked about my agastache. It's sometimes called anise hyssop and it smells like licorice. Love the fragrance.

  8. Jann, I hear the beach calling you......Again