Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Celebrating Bobolinks

Baby bobolinks are a natural by-product of adult bobolinks and proper grassland habitat. Great, that's not so tough right? It shouldn't be.

But before those babies are big enough to fly away, the grass or hay is at the perfect time to be harvested. Barely-feathered, baby "Bobs" are pretty much flightless. Guess what happens to those nestlings that can't get away from the mowers?

So, here is our educational sign for Bobolink protection, and there goes the mower grinding up babies on June 30th in 2010. Not a pretty sight.

The Friends of Ashland Park Disitrict and Greater Mohican Audubon Society have been trying to protect those baby "Bobs"for the last 5 years. We have been hosting seminars and festivals hoping to create public awareness and get the extra time the birds need to leave the nests- before the mowing occurs.

After all, what could be cuter than a baby Bobolink? You don't even have to be a birdwatcher to appreciate the bubbly calls of these gorgeous "ricebirds" from Argentina.

Finally, the Ashland birds are set to get a break! After multiple trips to the Ashland County Commissioners, they have contracted to mow Byers Woods after JULY 10th! This is great news for Bobolinks! We should have many fledglings leaving the nests before the mower comes through this year. We may lose some late "second-nesters" who have moved in after their nests were destroyed at other sights, but at least we will get our local "crop" of Bobolinks out of the fields before the mow date.

Male Bobolink in flight... photo by Dave Lewis (Birds From Behind)

The Byers Woods Bobolinks are flying around celebrating, and we are celebrating with them!

Please join us on Saturday June 25th, 2011; help us show the Ashland County Commissioners how many people DO CARE if the Bobolinks fledge. We can't save all the Bobolinks in farm fields throughout Ohio, but at least we can cooperate and manage this one field as a safe spot for Bobolinks.

Click HERE for enlarged schedule

We have a stellar line up of walks, vendors, displays, and food! Come out and look at Bobolinks through a spotting scope with Greg Miller. Take an educational Dragonfly/ Butterfly walk with Guy Denny. Pick up a new field guide from the Black Swamp Bird Observatory traveling store!

But most of all stop out on June 25th to help us- help the Bobolinks. Their habitat is declining throughout Ohio, and they need all the friends they can get. So be sure to thank their new friends: the Ashland County Commissioners!

Map and full details at

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this information Cheryl. Bobolinks need all the help they can get. I hope there is a big turn-out for Bobolinks at Byers Woods. It's a great event that I always look forward to. It has become a rite of summer for me! And there will be native plants for sale. Say no more. I can't wait!