Letter to the editor: A timeline adjustment on bobolinks
Jun 20, 2020
To the Editor:
As one of the trail stewards and bird box monitors for The Trustees Of Reservations (TTOR) at East Over Farm, we're very happy to see an article mentioning the Bobolinks. They may be threatened bird here in the Western Hemisphere, but they have been spotted at East Over Farm for the last 13 years since the property was protected by the people of the Town of Rochester and TTOR!
Our population has fluctuated over the years, but they are a migrating species, and they fly all the way to Southern South America. There, they are referred to as "Rice" birds. Unfortunately, the rice farmers treat the Bobolinks as pests, shooting and poisoning them to keep them from their crops.
The information you credit to the Mass Audubon and about mowing the fields in August, is incorrect. It should specify the month of June. In fact, many fields here in Rochester are being mowed now.
TTOR has always delayed mowing until mid-July to allow all the grassland birds a chance to fledge their young. The Bobolink chicks will have fledged by then and the adult Bobolinks will start making their way to South America, leaving their fledglings to fend for themselves and find their way down South.