Thu, Jun 11

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Newport Cultural Center

June: Making Room for Grassland Birds - Postponed due to Covid - check back later

Grassland birds as a whole have suffered the steepest declines of all birds in the U.S. Come listen to Laura Suomi-Lecker discuss grassland bird species and habitat needs as well as ways for farmers and other land managers to co-exist with nesting bird populations.

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June: Making Room for Grassland Birds - Postponed due to Covid - check back later

Time & Location

Jun 11, 2020, 6:30 PM

Newport Cultural Center, 154 Main St, Newport, ME 04953, USA

About The Event

Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) are an iconic summer sight in the fields and meadows of Maine. They are true agricultural allies to farmers as they consume large quantities of insect and weed pests each growing season. Unfortunately, steep population declines have put them on the State of the Birds Watchlist of birds of highest conservation concern since 2014. Grassland birds as a whole have suffered the steepest declines of all birds in the U.S. (www.stateofthebirds.org). 

In addition to threats to grassland habitat through re-forestation and development, changes in timing and frequency of forage harvesting have further hastened grassland bird species decline. Bobolinks, meadowlarks, and sparrow species require undisturbed hayfields for nesting. Hay harvesting occurs earlier and more frequently in recent decades, coinciding with the nesting period. In addition, fields not used for forage production are often cut during nesting timeframe. Thus, the human impact on breeding populations is significant and results in widespread nesting failure across much of Maine’s habitat each year. 

The Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Ag Allies program works with local landowners and land trusts to increase the nesting success of grassland birds through on-farm incentive payments, technical assistance, outreach and education.  The program empowers landowners land trusts to make sustainable bird-friendly management changes on their land; and improve the opportunity for nesting success of grassland birds in Maine.

Ag Allies program manager, Laura Suomi-Lecker will discuss grassland bird species and habitat needs as well as ways for farmers and other land managers to co-exist with nesting bird populations.