Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thinking Green Thursday, Bobolink

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Each Spring I look forward to the return of the Bobolink. This species is in decline because of the changes in agricultural practices. To maximize the protein content of hay, farmers get their first mowing in June. In earlier times, the first mowing was in July. This has the effect of destroying the Bobolink nests.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

Bobolinks like meadows that are damp and moist, sometimes partially flooded. Many Open Space managers have postponed field mowing until after the Bobolinks have fledged. The City of Boulder Open Space in Boulder, Colorado can trace their Bobolink nesting back to the turn of the 20th century to the present. You can see them on the Open Space property on the NE corner of Cherryvale and Baseline.

I saw my first Bobolink at the Audubon property in the Mount Wachusett Meadows in Princeton back in the ‘80s. We have Bobolink in Essex at the Cox Reservation.

©2009 ShootingMyUniverse

These are all males. I haven't seen the females arrive yet.

Be sure to visit Thinking Green Thursday.


Kelly said...

...these are fantastic Bobolink images, and thanks for the additional life history info. I've always loved these birds but have never been able to get a decent photo of them. They are not that common here, but I can find them at a local park with a wonderful meadow. I hope to some day capture shots of a Bobolink as nice as these.

Tabib said...

Beautiful small bird, and I like the bokeh/background in the 1st pic.
This Bobolink look like our male Baya weaver here, with 'yellow cap'.

madcobug said...

I have heard of them before but never seen any of them. These pictures are great. I like the one where he is either calling or singing. great job. Helen

Greyscale Territory said...

What a beautiful little bird! I have never even heard of such a bird before! Fascinating post!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing little bird Steve, unusual colouring.

Eve said...

These are wonderful photos Steve. This is one bird I will miss now that I am no longer living in a field! I will really miss their bubbling songs.

Ginnymo said...

Sure is a pretty little bird.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Seeing photos of this bird always inspires a re-read of Emily Dickinson's The Bobolink Is Gone.

So sad about the decline of the bobolinks. That made me sad. But necessary to know if one is going to lend a hand to help them out.

To try to resurrect the planet just feels like putting band-aids on these problems. It's a helpless feeling at times...

Sorry. I'm a bit under the weather with my attitude toward how things are going in the world. :-/

On a lighter note, thanks for joining in this week.

Everyone at my house loves your photographs, by the way!


Steve B said...

Hi Gina, I used to monitor the populations for the City and County of Boulder Open Space. There are plenty of people who are keeping an eye out for these guys. They like to return to traditional nesting areas. They do have it rough down south where they are considered a pest species, eating rice crops. It is not only in this hemisphere that they have trouble, but down south too.

I would like to thank all for the feed back. Today it has come down to spending time acking the communication or visiting other blogs. I think visiting others is important too.

2sweetnsaxy said...

I've never heard of a Boblink but then I don't know much about birds. :-) Great shots, as usual.

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