Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. While boat-tailed grackles are resident birds and with us year-around, some blackbirds are long-distance migrants, One was made famous by the American poet William Cullen Bryant in a poem he wrote in 1864, 'Robert of Lincoln':
Merrily swinging on briar and weed,
Near to the nest of his little dame,
Over the mountain-side or mead,
Robert of Lincoln is telling his name.
Spink, spank, spink...
The bob-o'-link only passes through our state in spring and fall as it travels from nesting areas in the meadows of northeastern states to the pampas of Argentina. We usually see them in Florida from April through early June, and again from August into November. Watch for them this spring. The males are our only blackbird with white and yellow on the back. Females are brown, and more difficult to identify. During fall migration, both sexes are brown, and they often go unnoticed.
'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.