Ken,
   This is useful information.  And thank you for your serious efforts.
I sometimes think that what we need to do is bring this to a wider public.  
Some photos of trashed nests would go a long way to making the point.  Of 
course Cornell wants to look good while doing little (consider their endless 
posturing and foot dragging on building efficiency).  So, what remains in-house 
may never change.
   This is part of a larger problem: talk green and continue with business as 
usual.  And, let’s face it, sometimes you have to stand between the machine and 
the victim—with cameras rolling.

Regi

____________
“If we surrendered to the earth’s intelligence, we could rise up rooted, like 
trees.” Rainer Maria Rilke


> On Jun 15, 2021, at 4:07 PM, Kenneth V. Rosenberg <k...@cornell.edu> wrote:
> 
> 
> Linda, thanks for bringing this mowing to everyone’s attention. In a 
> nutshell, what is happening today in those fields, repeated over the entire 
> U.S., is the primary cause of continued steep declines in Bobolink and other 
> grassland bird populations.
>  
> Last year, because of the delays in mowing due to Covid, the fields along 
> Freeze and Hanshaw Roads were full of nesting birds, including many nesting 
> Bobolinks that were actively feeding young in the nests at the end of June. 
> In the first week of July, Cornell decided to mow all the fields. Jody Enck 
> and I wrote letters and met with several folks at Cornell in the various 
> departments in charge of managing those fields (Veterinary College, 
> University Farm Services) – although they listened politely to our concerns 
> for the birds, they went ahead and mowed that week as dozens of female 
> bobolinks and other birds hovered helplessly over the tractors with bills 
> filled food for their almost-fledged young.
>  
> The same just happened over the past couple of days this year, only at an 
> earlier stage in the nesting cycle – most birds probably have (had) recently 
> hatched young in the nest. While mowing is occurring across the entire region 
> as part of “normal” agricultural practices (with continued devastating 
> consequences for field-nesting birds), the question is whether Cornell 
> University needs to be contributing to this demise, while ostensibly 
> supporting biodiversity conservation through other unrelated programs. Jody 
> and I presented an alternative vision, where the considerable acres of fields 
> owned by the university across Tompkins County could serve as a model for 
> conserving populations of grassland birds, pollinators, and other 
> biodiversity, but the people in charge of this management were not very 
> interested in these options.
>  
> And there we have it, a microcosm of the continental demise of grassland 
> birds playing out in our own backyard, illustrating the extreme challenges of 
> modern Ag practices that are totally incompatible with healthy bird 
> populations. I urge CayugaBirders to make as much noise as possible, and 
> maybe someone will listen.
>  
> KEN
>  
> Ken Rosenberg (he/him/his)
> Applied Conservation Scientist
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> American Bird Conservancy
> Fellow, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
> k...@cornell.edu
> Wk: 607-254-2412
> Cell: 607-342-4594
>  
>  
> From: bounce-125714085-3493...@list.cornell.edu 
> <bounce-125714085-3493...@list.cornell.edu> on behalf of Linda Orkin 
> <wingmagi...@gmail.com>
> Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 3:02 PM
> To: CAYUGABIRDS-L <cayugabird...@list.cornell.edu>
> Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Fields being mowed.
> 
> After a couple year hiatus in which the Freese Road fields across from the 
> gardens have been mowed late in the season allowing at least Bobolinks to be 
> done with their nesting and for grassland birds to be lured into a false 
> feeling of security so they have returned and I’ve counted three singing 
> meadowlarks for the first time in years,  Cornell has returned to early 
> mowing there as of today. And so the mayhem ensues. How many more multitudes 
> of birds will die before we believe our own eyes and ears. Mow the grass 
> while it’s still nutritious but are we paying attention to who is being fed. 
> Grass taken from the land to pass through animals and in that inefficient 
> process turning to food for humans. 
> 
> Linda Orkin
> Ithaca NY
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