[CT Birds] Bobolinks and mowing

Christopher Lovell ctlovell at gmail.com
Tue May 13 17:32:22 EDT 2014

I think it's important to remember that the active working of these
hayfields for the last several hundred years has actually preserved the
habitat. If these hayfields were to go untended they would most likely
revert to forest. While haying can hurt breeding grassland birds NOT haying
will do a different kind of damage to the species future. There needs to be
balance between the human and avian needs and it appears that UCONN is
doing the best it can to meet somewhere in the middle.

Well stated Steve. Thank you.


On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, Steve Morytko <smorytko at gmail.com> wrote:

> Zellene,
> 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.
> Best,
> Steve
> --
> Steve Morytko
> Ashford CT USA 06278
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