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Bobolink. Photo: Garrett Sheets/Audubon Photography Awards
Location: Dunn Ranch Prairie, Lincoln Township, Missouri
Camera: Canon EOS 60D with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lens; 1/1250 second at f/6.3; ISO 400
Story Behind the Shot: At sunset the Dunn Ranch Prairie becomes a field of golden grasses, which provided a perfect setting for this male as he perched briefly for a curious glance at my camera.
The robotic tone of his song was echoed by dozens of other Bobolinks as they flew overhead.
I was almost too excited to take the photo, but I secured a burst of photos before he took off, flying far out over the grasses.
Bird Lore: Most songbirds nesting in grasslands of the United States and Canada are short-distance migrants at most.
The Bobolink is a striking exception, vacating North America entirely in fall, spending midwinter south of the Equator in South America.
Bobolinks molt before migrating, the male trading his snappy summer plumage for subtle buff-brown tones.