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.