Applications from interested farmers have been rolling in as Bobolinks have been starting to make their way northward from South America. What better way to welcome them back than protecting habitat where they can safely raise their young? People who support The Bobolink Project do just that.
The Bobolink Project is an innovative model that was designed to connect conservation-minded donors with farmers who want to protect birds on their fields, but need a little financial help to do so.
You can save Bobolinks
The number of acres The Bobolink Project protects is directly tied to how much we can raise in donations. You can support this work and protect privately-owned habitat for grassland birds by donating to the project and spreading the word to all of your networks. This project simply wouldn’t exist without people, like you, who care deeply for birds.
The Bobolink Project saves hundreds of Bobolinks each year. Let’s make 2021 just as successful!
How it works
Interested farmers apply to The Bobolink Project with a dollar bid/acre that is low enough to be competitive but also sufficient to provide them with some financial help to offset the loss of income from the hay that would otherwise be cut. Grassland sizes must be a minimum of 20 acres to be considered. At the same time we accept donations from Bobolink-loving donors and pool them until we’re ready to make decisions in mid-April.
In order to select which farms will be included we do a uniform reverse price auction, which is described on our website in more detail. The number of acres that we can protect is determined by how much we can raise each year.
Once we determine which farms will be selected, we draw up legal contracts with those farmers and wait for the Bobolinks to arrive, start building nests, and raise their families.
I hope that the Town of Sudbury approaches you about Davis Field. i’ve walked my dog there for many years and each year there are tens and tens of bobolinks. Just as they’re nesting, the farmer hays the fields. Finally last year a couple of people from the Town conservation commission paid attention to calls about it and came to see what was happening. I saw them looking over the field with binoculars and asked if they were looking for dead bobolink nestlings. Yes, they were. Several of us talked to them and finally had hope that Sudbury would act appropriately.
You might tell us, how to manage to fields for the bobolinks. When to last cut in the Spring before they arrive, and when to cut again, after they have fledged. Many of us have old hay fields, and would be happy, without any outside $$$ to maintain them for the bobolinks.
Thanks for your interest in protecting grassland birds. We have a guide for private landowners and land trusts for protecting nesting grassland birds on our website . We recommend not mowing hay fields from May 15 to August 15. This timeline is longer than what we require for The Bobolink Project because while most chicks will have fledged by the end of July, the birds continue to spend time in the fields learning how to forage and putting on some weight for migration in the fall.
i live in a senior community with large park between the several buildings that includes a little mountain with several trees none of which now have nests. Could you show me how to create nests on the trees and surrounding space which no one could climb up anyway (this hill is quite steep) but which thus would be a protected area for the birds. the community is around 1/2 mile from cleveland circle in Brighton MA. (incidentally I am a resident here so would probably need permission to create such a protected space.)