Monday, May 18, 2015


It is late spring now, and the birds are in various stages of the nesting season.  Great Horned Owls have already fledged, Eastern Bluebirds are feeding young and Yellow Warblers are building nests.  The Bobolinks have finally arrived and are filling the air with a wonderful, bubbly song in the meadows.

Today, I went to the Greensprings Natural Cemetery near Ithaca to see the Bobolinks. The meadows are not mowed during nesting season, and an abundance of ground nesting birds can be found. While there was an oversupply of male Bobolinks, I saw two pairs that were defending territory, and perhaps, starting a nest beneath the widely scattered honeysuckle bushes.

The male has this fluttery flight over the meadow accompanying his bubble and tinkle song. It seemed to me that it principally attracts rival males, not females.

The male also take a perch to broadcast his message.  This seemed to be announcing a territory.

This fellow's lady seemed to keep pretty close to him, and foraged among the grasses with a few excursions to the weed stalks for a look around.  I find her quite attractive too.

Greenspring practices responsible management of the meadows with regards to mowing. I recall that they only mow every other year in the late summer when nesting is complete.  The result is an abundant, prairie-like habitat full of the cycle of life.


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