[CT Birds] Bobolinks and mowing
smorytko at gmail.com
Tue May 13 17:19:22 EDT 2014
You must have missed Chris Elphick's post from Monday night.
For the past 7 years, UConn has delayed mowing a significant portion of a
hayfield in the upper east pasture of Horsebarn Hill for the benefit of
grassland birds that attempt to nest in the area. These include Bobolinks,
Savannah Sparrows, and Eastern Meadowlarks. As you know other species
benefit from delayed mowing too. The Farm Manager with approval from the
dean(s) of CANR (College of Agriculture and Natural Resources), have been
very generous setting aside this area and Bobolinks have successfully
nested there every one of the last 7 years. I would also point out that the
Farm Manager has been most cooperative permitting installation of American
Kestrel boxes there and at other UConn properties. We've also installed
Purple Martin housing with CANR's permission.
It is my hope that CANR will continue their important conservation efforts
for years to come. As Chris pointed out UConn operates a working farm and
that is their first priority. They operate on a budget and hay costs real
money. It is truly wonderful that they have extended these birds the
opportunity to nest in a significant area of their prime hayfields. There
is no reason to be casting UConn in a negative light when in fact they have
demonstrated a very enlightened view and are committing important and
significant resources toward helping grassland birds at Horsebarn Hill.
With your experience negotiating space for grassland birds in your town I'm
sure you understand that these matters can be quite delicate and should
parties feel their contributions are not appreciated they may not continue.
That would be a very sad day for me and many others that have been enjoying
the fruits of their conservation efforts.
I'd suggest you visit in July when I hope you'll be able see Bobolinks in
the uncut hayfield that wouldn't be there without CANR's help.
Ashford CT USA 06278
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