Saturday, June 18, 2005

Deming Way Digiscoping

Last evening after work I stopped along Deming Way in Middleton to digiscope grassland bird species. While this has been a great location for viewing Bobolinks, Dickcissels, Eastern Meadowlarks, Grasshopper Sparrows and more, I know that the land is slated for industrial park development. Almost worse than the impending development is the field mowing that usually takes place before the birds have a chance to finish raising their young. Upon arrival, it didn’t take long to find some singing birds in the late afternoon light. Dickcissels were singing all around me and a few Eastern Meadowlarks chimed into the chorus. On my way back to my car, a curious Eastern Kingbird perched on a twig atop a tree right above me. I had to back away because it was too close for my spotting scope!

Grassland bird populations are declining faster than any other group of avian species in North America. Recent decades have seen declines of from 25% to 65% in both migrant and resident bird species of the grassland: Henslow’s sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Dickcissels, Grasshopper Sparrows, and even the Eastern Meadowlark are losing ground fast.

I know of at least one great way to help them out!

Eastern Meadowlark image © 2005 Michael Allen McDowell

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