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Bobolink Protection and Mortality on Suburban Conservation Lands

This research on the breeding Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) is continuing through the year 2001. It examines typical land use practices in the Bobolink's preferred habitat, documents the high mortality due to haycropping, examines the late season use of the breeding fields, and suggests conservation strategies.

[1932 photo of female and nestlings in Alford, Mass., by Dr. Elizabeth Kingsbury Friedmann. Click photo for enlargement.]

The research for 1993-94 was reported in an article, "Bobolink Protection and Mortality on Suburban Conservation Lands," by Stephen F. Ells <sfe<at>post.harvard.edu>, appeared in Bird Observer, Vol. 23, No. 2, p. 98-112, April 1995.

Here are links both to an abstract [5 KB]

and to the complete article in HTML format (with internal hyperlinks and charts) [50 KB] .

[For downloading, here is a ZIP file containing the complete article in text format plus charts as GIFs.] It can be decompressed in a Mac by dropping it on the free Stuffit Expander or on a PC by using one of the free unzip applications.

Subsequent research through 2001 will be added. Contact author with questions.

An informal gallery of Bobolink images is here.

Also posted here is a resource file on agricultural land leasing practices with lease conditions that are respectful of wildlife. These have been adopted by our local municipal conservation commission in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Plus a bibliography, which includes many conservation managment references as well as extracts, such as from Peter Westover's excellent book on grassland management for bobolinks.

On a related topic, posted here is a journal report of observations of rare Massachusetts breeding of Henslow's Sparrows, who took advantage of the bobolink delayed-cut sanctuary.

To leave this site and go to Massachusetts Audubon Society's excellent website on grassland bird conservation, click here.

[Image: Male Bobolinks in the Smokies.]
Page last updated on July 30, 2000.
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