More of the Blackbird Family – Chapter 13

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

More of the Blackbird Family

The Orchard Oriole and the Bobolink.

The Burgess Bird Book For Children


Listen to the story read.


CHAPTER 13. More of the Blackbird Family.

Peter Rabbit was dozing. Yes, sir, Peter was dozing. He didn’t mean to doze, but whenever Peter sits still for a long time and tries to think, he is pretty sure to go to sleep. By and by he wakened with a start. At first he didn’t know what had wakened him, but as he sat there blinking his eyes, he heard a few rich notes from the top of the nearest apple-tree. “It’s Goldy the Oriole,” thought Peter, and peeped out to see.

But though he looked and looked he couldn’t see Goldy anywhere, but he did see a stranger. It was some one of about Goldy’s size and shape. In fact he was so like Goldy, but for the color of his suit, that at first Peter almost thought Goldy had somehow changed his clothes. Of course he knew that this couldn’t be, but it seemed as if it must be, for the song the stranger was singing was something like that of Goldy. The stranger’s head and throat and back were black, just like Goldy’s, and his wings were trimmed with white in just the same way. But the rest of his suit, instead of being the beautiful orange of which Goldy is so proud, was a beautiful chestnut color.

Peter blinked and stared very hard. “Now who can this be?” said he, speaking aloud without thinking.

Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) ©WikiC

Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) ©WikiC

“Don’t you know him?” asked a sharp voice so close to Peter that it made him jump. Peter whirled around. There sat Striped Chipmunk grinning at him from the top of the old stone wall. “That’s Weaver the Orchard Oriole,” Striped Chipmunk rattled on. “If you don’t know him you ought to, because he is one of the very nicest persons in the Old Orchard. I just love to hear him sing.”

“Is—is—he related to Goldy?” asked Peter somewhat doubtfully.

“Of course,” retorted Striped Chipmunk. “I shouldn’t think you would have to look at him more than once to know that. He’s first cousin to Goldy. There comes Mrs. Weaver. I do hope they’ve decided to build in the Old Orchard this year.”

“I’m glad you told me who she is because I never would have guessed it,” confessed Peter as he studied the newcomer. She did not look at all like Weaver. She was dressed in olive-green and dull yellow, with white markings on her wings.

Peter couldn’t help thinking how much easier it must be for her than for her handsome husband to hide among the green leaves.

As he watched she flew down to the ground and picked up a long piece of grass. “They are building here, as sure as you live!” cried Striped Chipmunk. “I’m glad of that. Did you ever see their nest, Peter? Of course you haven’t, because you said you had never seen them before. Their nest is a wonder, Peter. It really is. It is made almost wholly of fine grass and they weave it together in the most wonderful way.”

“Do they have a hanging nest like Goldy’s?” asked Peter a bit timidly.

 Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) Nest ©HenryTMcLin Flickr

Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) Nest ©HenryTMcLin Flickr

“Not such a deep one,” replied Striped Chipmunk. “They hang it between the twigs near the end of a branch, but they bind it more closely to the branch and it isn’t deep enough to swing as Goldy’s does.”

Peter had just opened his mouth to ask another question when there was a loud sniffing sound farther up along the old stone wall. He didn’t wait to hear it again. He knew that Bowser the Hound was coming.

“Good-by, Striped Chipmunk! This is no place for me,” whispered Peter and started for the dear Old Briar-patch. He was in such a hurry to get there that on his way across the Green Meadows he almost ran into Jimmy Skunk before he saw him.

“What’s your hurry, Peter?” demanded Jimmy

“Bowser the Hound almost found me up in the Old Orchard,” panted Peter. “It’s a wonder he hasn’t found my tracks. I expect he will any minute. I’m glad to see you, Jimmy, but I guess I’d better be moving along.”

“Don’t be in such a hurry, Peter. Don’t be in such a hurry,” replied Jimmy, who himself never hurries. “Stop and talk a bit. That old nuisance won’t bother you as long as you are with me.”

Peter hesitated. He wanted to gossip, but he still felt nervous about Bowser the Hound. However, as he heard nothing of Bowser’s great voice, telling all the world that he had found Peter’s tracks, he decided to stop a few minutes. “What are you doing down here on the Green Meadows?” he demanded.

Jimmy grinned. “I’m looking for grasshoppers and grubs, if you must know,” said he. “And I’ve just got a notion I may find some fresh eggs. I don’t often eat them, but once in a while one tastes good.”

“If you ask me, it’s a funny place to be looking for eggs down here on the Green Meadows,” replied Peter. “When I want a thing; I look for it where it is likely to be found.”

“Just so, Peter; just so,” retorted Jimmy Skunk, nodding his head with approval. “That’s why I am here.”

Peter looked puzzled. He was puzzled. But before he could ask another question a rollicking song caused both of them to look up. There on quivering wings in mid-air was the singer. He was dressed very much like Jimmy Skunk himself, in black and white, save that in places the white had a tinge of yellow, especially on the back of his neck. It was Bubbling Bob the Bobolink. And how he did sing! It seemed as if the notes fairly tumbled over each other.

Bubbling Bob the Bobolink - Burgess Bird Book ©©

Bubbling Bob the Bobolink – Burgess Bird Book ©©

Jimmy Skunk raised himself on his hind-legs a little to see just where Bubbling Bob dropped down in the grass. Then Jimmy began to move in that direction. Suddenly Peter understood. He remembered that Bubbling Bob’s nest is always on the ground. It was his eggs that Jimmy Skunk was looking for.

“You don’t happen to have seen Mrs. Bob anywhere around here, do you, Peter?” asked Jimmy, trying to speak carelessly.

“No,” replied Peter. “If I had I wouldn’t tell you where. You ought to be ashamed, Jimmy Skunk, to think of robbing such a beautiful singer as Bubbling Bob.”

“Pooh!” retorted Jimmy. “What’s the harm? If I find those eggs he and Mrs. Bob could simply build another nest and lay some more. They won’t be any the worse off, and I will have had a good breakfast.”

“But think of all the work they would have to do to build another nest,” replied Peter.

“I should worry,” retorted Jimmy Skunk. “Any one who can spend so much time singing can afford to do a little extra work.”

“You’re horrid, Jimmy Skunk. You’re just horrid,” said Peter. “I hope you won’t find a single egg, so there!”

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

With this, Peter once more headed for the dear Old Briar-patch, while Jimmy Skunk continued toward the place where Bubbling Bob had disappeared in the long grass. Peter went only a short distance and then sat up to watch Jimmy Skunk. Just before Jimmy reached the place where Bubbling Bob had disappeared, the latter mounted into the air again, pouring out his rollicking song as if there were no room in his heart for anything but happiness. Then he saw Jimmy Shrunk and became very much excited. He flew down in the grass a little farther on and then up again, and began to scold.

It looked very much as if he had gone down in the grass to warn Mrs. Bob. Evidently Jimmy thought so, for he at once headed that way. When Bubbling Bob did the same thing all over again. Peter grew anxious. He knew just how patient Jimmy Skunk could be, and he very much feared that Jimmy would find that nest. Presently he grew tired of watching and started on for the dear Old Briar-patch. Just before he reached it a brown bird, who reminded him somewhat of Mrs. Redwing and Sally Sly the Cowbird, though she was smaller, ran across the path in front of him and then flew up to the top of a last year’s mullein stalk. It was Mrs. Bobolink. Peter knew her well, for he and she were very good friends.

“Oh!” cried Peter. “What are you doing here? Don’t you know that Jimmy Skunk, is hunting for your nest over there? Aren’t you worried to death? I would be if I were in your place.”

Mrs. Bob chuckled. “Isn’t he a dear? And isn’t he smart?” said she, meaning Bubbling Bob, of course, and not Jimmy Skunk. “Just see him lead that black-and-white robber away.”

Peter stared at her for a full minute. “Do you mean to say,” said he “that your nest isn’t over there at all?”

Bobolink Nest ©Flickr Mike Allen

Bobolink Nest ©Flickr Mike Allen

Mrs. Bob chuckled harder than ever. “Of course it isn’t over there,” said she.

“Then where is it?” demanded Peter.

That’s telling,” replied Mrs. Bob. “It isn’t over there, and it isn’t anywhere near there. But where it is is Bob’s secret and mine, and we mean to keep it. Now I must go get something to eat,” and with a hasty farewell Mrs. Bobolink flew over to the other side of the dear Old Briar-patch.

Peter remembered that he had seen Mrs. Bob running along the ground before she flew up to the old mullein stalk. He went back to the spot where he had first seen her and hunted all around in the grass, but without success. You see, Mrs. Bobolink had been quite as clever in fooling Peter as Bubbling Bob had been in fooling Jimmy Skunk.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalms 91:1-2 NKJV)

He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely. [Rom. 16:17, 18.] (Proverbs 20:19 AMP)



  • What was Peter Rabbit doing when he heard singing?
  • Can you tell what the Orchard Oriole looks like?
  • What does their nest look like?
  • Who was Peter afraid my find him?
  • Who told Peter not to worry as long as he was with him? Why?
  • What was Jimmy looking for?
  • What was Bubbling Bob doing to Jimmy Skunk?
  • Are we suppose to tell secrets?


Wordless Book

Bubbling Bob the Bobolink - Burgess Bird Book ©©


  Next Chapter (Bob White and Carol the Meadow Lark)






Burgess Bird Book For Children


Robust Woodpecker (Campephilus robustus) by BirdPhotos_com


Wordless Birds




The Bobolinks Have A Tea Party

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton


Who Should Arrive But the Fairies

Who Should Arrive But the Fairies


“The other day,” commenced daddy, “the bobolinks had an afternoon tea.

“The tea party was given for the meadow larks. The bobolinks are great friends of the meadow larks and they wanted to be the first this season to entertain them. Besides, most of the bobolinks had new summer homes and their colony was near a beautiful stream.

“You know the bobolinks always build their homes in the meadows—but they build very near a stream and their homes are always deep down in the long grass.

“They had all come to live in Waving Grassland for the summer—that is, all the bobolinks who always moved about together in the summer and winter—and many of their friends, the meadow larks, were on hand to greet them. A number of others were going to arrive in a few days—before the tea party.

“Now Waving Grassland was very beautiful country. The meadows were very large and the grass was so beautiful and so long that it always waved in the soft breezes, so that the bobolinks named their new summer place Waving Grassland.

Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) by Bob-Nan

Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) by Bob-Nan

“And so the bobolinks made all their preparations for the tea party. The guests arrived dressed up in their best new summer plumage. The meadow larks came first, as they were the guests of honor.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Raymond Barlow

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) by Raymond Barlow

“The red-breasted grosbeak family were all there looking too lovely for words. And the bluejays,

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan'sPix

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) at Bok Tower By Dan’sPix

downy woodpeckers,

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) by Raymond Barlow

the orioles,

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) by Daves BirdingPix

Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus) by Daves BirdingPix

the thrush family,

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) ©USFWS

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) ©USFWS

the chipping sparrows,

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) by Ray

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) by Ray

the robins,

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton

the indigo birds—

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) by Raymond Barlow

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) by Raymond Barlow

and even the shy vireos ventured forth.

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) by Kent Nickell

Of course, usually they hate parties, but they loved the stream nearby and the beautiful country the bobolinks were living in, and they thought at least once a year they ought to be a little bit sociable and friendly with their neighbors.

“After they had all chatted together—to us it would have sounded more like chirping—the bobolinks began to serve tea.

“They had spring water for their tea—the water from the cool stream which had a deep spring within it. And this tea they served in little moss-covered stones. That gave it the most delicious flavor, and all the birds asked the bobolinks where they had found such good tea. You know in birdland they don’t ask each other where anything is bought, but where it is found! And the bobolinks told their secret.

Fairychapeltoun“But as they were drinking cup after cup—or stoneful after stoneful—of tea, who should arrive but all the fairies!

“The birds greeted the fairies with their best songs—or their way of saying ‘We’re so glad to see you’—and the bobolinks trilled with joy because they had arranged this lovely surprise for their guests.”


Lee’s Addition:

In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘Everyone will invite his neighbor Under his vine and under his fig tree.’ ” (Zechariah 3:10 NKJV)

Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, … But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14 NKJV)

That was nice of the Bobolinks to invite their neighbors and friends. We also should be willing to invite and share with others our blessings. Also, it sounds like they had a lot of fun and chats. Are you friendly to those around you and willing to share. We should share and not expect to receive something in return.

The best thing we can share is our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. ABC’s of the Gospel

Another Bird Tale From

Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories – Gutenberg ebooks


Mary Graham Bonner

With four illustrations in color by
Florence Choate and Elizabeth Curtis


Daddys Bedtime Story Images

These stories first appeared in the American Press Association Service and the Western Newspaper Union.

Many of the sketches in this volume are the work of Rebecca McCann, creator of the “Cheerful Cherub,” etc.

Daddys Bedtime Story Images
Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories by Mary Graham Bonner – 1917



Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) ©©Flickr



  Bird Tales







  Daddy’s Bedtime Bird Stories









  ABC’s of the Gospel





Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) by Ray



  Icteridae – Oropendolas, Orioles & Blackbirds (and Bobolinks) Family



The Christmas Bird?

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

The Christmas Bird?

The other day as I was reading an article on Bobolinks,
My thoughts immediately flew to the manger
where our Lord lay among the haystack.
This bird too loves to live and nest among the hay fields.
  • Are we satisfied with the place which God has given us?
  • Or do we grumble about where God has placed us?
  • Or are we trying to live or outlive like others?
God lowered Himself to the manger..
We all want to be like Jesus,
  • but, are we willing to humble ourselves like Him?
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  (Mathew11:29)
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) ©WikiC

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) ©WikiC

These birds are seen feeding during the night too…

This reminded me of the shepherds
who went in search of the Heavenly Manna during the night…
Each one of us would like to be called as being righteous, but,
  • do we meditate His words, every day and every night?
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Psalm 1:2
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) CC Pair ramendan

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) CC Pair ramendan

These birds though very small in size,

are extraordinary migrants,
making a trip of about 20,000 kilometers in one season
using the earth’s magnetic field as compass
and the location of stars as its map.
This reminded me of the star
that showed the way to the wise men
who came in search of
Jesus, the Brightest Morning Star…
I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Revelation 22:16)
When Jesus becomes our Bright and morning star,
We would never loose our way like the wise men
even in our darkest hour..
Can we call Bobolink as the “Christmas Bird?”
Wish you all a very blessed and a meaningful Christmas..
With love and prayers,

Yours in YESHUA,

a j mithra

Please visit us at:


Bobolinks are part of the Icteridae – Oropendolas, Orioles & Blackbirds Family.

Bobolink – Extraordinary Migrant…


Bobolink – Extraordinary Migrant…

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) Pair ©©ramendan

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) Pair ©©ramendan

Bobolink – Extraordinary Migrant… ~ by a j mithra

Rice bird, meadow-wink, skunk blackbird, reed bird, butter bird—these various names for the member of the blackbird family most commonly known as the Bobolink reflect the diversity of ways in which humans have looked upon this gregarious songbird.

Nesting in the prairies and cultivated land of south Canada and the northern United States and wintering in the grasslands and marshes of Argentina, the Bobolink migrates at least 5,000 miles each way.

Bobolink Migration Route©WikiC

Bobolink Migration Route©WikiC

The Bobolink is an extraordinary migrant, traveling to south of the equator each autumn and making a round-trip of approximately 20,000 kilometers (12,500 mi). One female, known to be at least 9 years old, presumably made this trip annually, a total distance equal to traveling 4.5 times around the earth at the equator! These birds migrate to Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. One bird was tracked flying 12,000 miles (19,000 km) over the course of the year, and up to 1,100 miles (1,800 km) in one day. The vast distance is more impressive in relation to the Bobolink’s diminutive size, averaging 7 inches in length, 11.5 inches in wingspan, and 1.5 ounces. in weight.

  • Feeling small?
  • Get ready to do greater things for God…
  • You know, God does not use boulders to stop the waves of the sea from entering the land..
  • But, He uses tiny grains of sand to do it..

God has designed this bird to travel long distances to encourage us that we too can do great and mighty things for God..

A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time. (Isaiah 6:21)

God seems to have a liking to use small things to fulfill great missions..

  • He chose the small Miriam to find a way to take care of Moses..
  • He chose a small slave girl to bring healing to a Commander of an army..
  • He chose a little shepherd boy David to bring down a mighty giant..
  • He chose a small boy to feed the multitudes…

Here again, this small bird He uses to inspire us to do great things for God..

If this small bird can travel 4.5 times around the world at the equator in its life time, how much more God will expect from us? Most of rely on our strength that is the reason we find it so difficult to travel next door to share the gospel isn’t it?

What sense does it make to say, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me when we find it so difficult to stand for God?

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:22-25)

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) ©USFWS

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) ©USFWS

Bobolinks begin their journey northward in South America in early March, reaching Colombia and Venezuela in late April. From there, most take a route over the Caribbean Sea to the Florida peninsula, although some will cross the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula to Louisiana and Texas. From there they fan northward and westward, arriving on the breeding grounds in May. These Birds breed in open grasslands and hay fields.

Bobolinks migrate at night. The distinctive “clink” notes of these nocturnal travelers can be heard as they pass overhead in large flocks, apparently using the earth’s magnetic field as a compass and the locations of the stars as a map.

  • Human race boasts about technology, innovation and inventions…
  • We feel great pride in finding unknown routes with the help of satellites and compass…

But, these birds use the earth’s magnetic field as compass and locations of the stars as a map…

  • How difficult it is for us to tread on unknown path?
  • When we worship in church we feel so good to call Jesus as the Brightest Morning Star…
  • Do we really turn towards this Morning Star to seek direction in life?
  • Who is our inspiration in life?

If God be with us who can be against us? But the million dollar question is, are we with God?

Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: (Jeremiah 32:19)

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) ©WikiC

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) ©WikiC

In summer, Bobolinks feed primarily on insects switching to grain crops as they migrate south. In migration and in winter uses freshwater marshes, grasslands, rice and sorghum fields.

Although the Bobolink typically feeds during the day, in migration, while building fat reserves for its long over water flight, it has been observed feeding in rice fields after dark on bright nights.

We all know that we are on the verge of migrating once and for all to heaven..

  • Have we stored reserves to migrate that long?
  • His words has the power to heal the broken and strengthen the weak…
  • His words shall never return empty…

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. (Proverbs 3:1-8)

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) by J Fenton

How many times do we read His words in a day? Maybe we should learn from these birds to eat His words even during our dark hours.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Judging by sight or sound, the Bobolink is a bird of distinction. Their song has been vividly described as

  • “a bubbling delirium of ecstatic music that flows from the gifted throat of the bird like sparkling champagne,”
  • “a mad, reckless song-fantasia, and outbreak of pent-up, irrepressible glee,” and as
  • “a tinkle of fairy music, like the strains of an old Greek harp.”

We may not be a good singer, yet, God loves to hear us sing. The reason for creating us is to sing, glorify and thank Him.  But, we seem to do every other thing except thanking Him…  Many of our prayers are unanswered, because, we have failed to thank when we pray..

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Please visit us at: Crosstree

The Bobolink is in the Icteridae Family of the Passeriformes Order