More generally, another problem are policies by NYS Parks and the Wildlife Management areas. Grassland areas under their control increasingly seem to be rented out for farming. For example, part of Willard Wildlife Management area that 25 yrs ago was in grass that only got mowed in late summer, and that had the full range of nesting grassland birds (confirmed nesting by Meadowlark, Bobolink, Northern Harrier, several grassland sparrows), recently has been leased to farmers who plant & harvest row crops there. Probably true lots of other places. This is a situation where the Bird Club and the Lab of O might be able to work together to encourage regulation by NYS that ensured the land was used in a way that is consistent with grassland nesting.
On 6/15/2021 4:07 PM, Kenneth V. Rosenberg 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 <mailto: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/CayugabirdsWELCOME> > http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES > <http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES> > http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm > <http://www.NortheastBirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> > > ARCHIVES: > 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html > <http://firstname.lastname@example.org/maillist.html> > 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds > <http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds> > 3) http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html > <http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html> > > Please submit your observations to eBird: > http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ <http://ebird.org/content/ebird/> > > -- > > -- > *Cayugabirds-L List Info:* > Welcome and Basics <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsWELCOME> > Rules and Information <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsRULES> > Subscribe, Configuration and Leave > <http://www.northeastbirding.com/CayugabirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm> > *Archives:* > The Mail Archive > <http://email@example.com/maillist.html> > Surfbirds <http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/Cayugabirds> > BirdingOnThe.Net <http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/CAYU.html> > *Please submit your observations to eBird > <http://ebird.org/content/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/ --