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 > -- > > Cayugabirds-L List Info: > http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME > http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES > http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm > > ARCHIVES: > 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html > 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds > 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html > > Please submit your observations to eBird: > http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ > > -- > > -- > Cayugabirds-L List Info: > Welcome and Basics > Rules and Information > Subscribe, Configuration and Leave > Archives: > The Mail Archive > Surfbirds > BirdingOnThe.Net > Please submit your observations to eBird! > -- -- Cayugabirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --