I have published over a dozen 10 professional articles on shrublands, including 
extensive surveys of birds nesting in different stages of early succession from 
abandoned field up to sapling forest. I have had several grants about 
management for Golden-winged Warblers and I am going to a conference on 
shrubland management for GW this weekend. This is my thing.


I'll try to be brief. There is no one-stage-of-succession or 
frequency-of-mowing that is best for all bird species. Some species like fields 
with practically no woody stems and others like over 75% cover by woody plants 
(Confer, J. L. and S. M. Pascoe. 2003. “The avian community on utility 
rights-of-ways and other managed shrublands in northeastern United States”. 
Forest Ecology and Management  85:193-206.). Hay fields might best be mowed in 
mid-July allowing second broods of, e.g,  meadowlark and bobolinks, a chance to 
fledge and allowing grasses to produce seed heads that might feed winter birds, 
or even mice and then raptors. My surveys in the Finger Lakes National Forest 
showed that maximum diversity of shrubland birds is probably obtained at about 
50% cover by vegetation growing from woody stems. Mowing a field cuts woody 
stems, but usually does not kill them. This leads to regrowth from the 
established roots of woody stems making the field gradually more woody, and 
less herbaceous. In time, perhaps 20 years, a repeatedly mowed field is all 
woody stems. At this point an occasional plowing that allows reestablishment of 
herbaceous plants is good. There are some grassland species that won't nest 
unless the acreage is really large. On the other hand, there are some shrubland 
species that use or even like or require forest edge and 5 acres is quite fine, 
depending on the vegetation growing on the perimeter.


John Confer




________________________________
From: bounce-120273450-25065...@list.cornell.edu 
<bounce-120273450-25065...@list.cornell.edu> on behalf of Michele Emerick Brown 
<m...@cornell.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 4:14 PM
To: Michael O. Engle; CAYUGABIRDS-L
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Fields


The mowing information/resource is very interesting. It seems to be directed to 
people with 15 acres or more. I have a 5 acre field that used to be in hay, but 
which is slowly going to scrub (right now it’s mainly goldenrod) because we 
stopped having it cut. Could someone direct me to information to help me figure 
out what would be best for birds? Should I get it cut, leave it alone, plant it 
with something else? I think Red-winged blackbirds usually nest in it.



I live out in Caroline so there are a lot of other fields being rotated between 
corn and hay.



Thanks,

Michele



From: bounce-120268837-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
[mailto:bounce-120268837-3493...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Michael O. Engle
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2016 4:03 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L <cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>
Subject: RE:[cayugabirds-l] help determining the time to mow fields



I’m fine with the discussion taking place on the list. I think it would be 
good, in the end, if one person could work directly with the livestock guy I 
talked with to advise/train/support him over time. It’s certainly a useful kind 
of knowledge for livestock producers who manage fields for hay. I wonder if the 
county extension folks are a useful resource to help out and provide support 
with this topic.



Michael



+++++++++++++++++

Michael Engle,

Reference and Instruction Librarian

Selector, Olin/Uris Reference and Anglo-American News

106 Olin Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Email: m...@cornell.edu<mailto:m...@cornell.edu>; Telephone: (607) 255-1884



From: Donna Lee Scott
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2016 3:39 PM
To: Michael O. Engle <m...@cornell.edu<mailto:m...@cornell.edu>>; CAYUGABIRDS-L 
<cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>>
Subject: RE: help determining the time to mow fields



While I can understand why Michael wants to keep the conversation with the 
livestock person off the list, I think it would benefit many of us if we knew 
what are the recommendations are for when is the best time to mow hay or grass 
fields with regard to protecting nesting grassland birds and their offspring.



I would like this information to be posted on the list.

I often toy with the idea of trying to convince some local landowners here in 
Lansing to mow large grass expanses in later summer, but I don’t know what the 
cut-off date is.



Donna L. Scott

Lansing Station Road

Lansing, NY



From: 
bounce-120268126-15001...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:bounce-120268126-15001...@list.cornell.edu>
 [mailto:bounce-120268126-15001...@list.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Michael O. 
Engle
Sent: Monday, March 14, 2016 2:24 PM
To: CAYUGABIRDS-L 
<cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu<mailto:cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>>
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] help determining the time to mow fields



Hi,



I had a chat with a local livestock raiser at Winter Market this weekend. He 
hays a number of fields and would like some guidance on the best time to do the 
haying to protect birds that nest in the fields he cuts. Please respond to me 
off list, and I will pass his contact information along.



Thanks,



Michael



+++++++++++++++++

Michael Engle,

Reference and Instruction Librarian

Selector, Olin/Uris Reference and Anglo-American News

106 Olin Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

Email: m...@cornell.edu<mailto:m...@cornell.edu>; Telephone: (607) 255-1884



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