Mystery bird

Selkirk Doon shared these pictures of birds seen in his back yard in Esko. He’s baffled about what they are, and so am I. Can you help?
Here’s a single:

And here’s a group:

When they fly they have a white T across their wings and back, Selkirk says.
He looked on the Audubon website but wasn’t able to find a match.
Any ideas?

Your bird stories and pictures — mysterious or otherwise — welcome at jlundy@duluthnews.com.

24 thoughts on “Mystery bird

  1. Has been awhile since I saw one, but these are Bobolinks. They were quite common in the Esko area when I was a ‘youngster’…

  2. Rose-breasted Grosbeak possibly?…b&w does not allow for colors…but size, beak shape, primary and secondary colors point to some kind of grosbeak….

  3. Male Bobolink in spring plumage, Dolichonyx oryzivorus . The only North American land bird with dark underneath and light above.

  4. They’re in my area a lot. I always referred to them as “skunk birds” until someone told me they are Bobolinks :)

  5. Looks like a Bonolink. My brother-in-law identified some similar birds recently at Crex Meadows near Grantsburg WI.

      • That would be nice since their habitat is declining but people need to stop mowing their grass and not just a yard or two, but many people. It is highly unlikely this would ever happen in towns or cities, though.

        They do have one of the neatest songs. It will stop soon here as breeding comes to a close, but as they gather for migration, we will hear a partial song. It’s like they just get ready to sing, but then stop.

  6. Well, I am late, but see that most knew what they are. I am nearly jealous even though we have a male in our pasture protecting his territory. We assume there’s a female in the grass somewhere. These birds have never come close to our yard for feeding though.

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