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Outdoor Radio: Nesting In The High Grass, The Bobolinks Return

A bobolink perches on strands of high grasses in South Woodstock at Top Acres Farm.
Kent McFarland
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A bobolink perches on strands of high grasses in South Woodstock at Top Acres Farm.

Which bird's song is a burst of tweets and twitters that sound like R2D2 from "Star Wars" movie fame? It is the bobolink and after wintering in Argentina, these small, songful birds have returned to nest in Vermont's high grasses.

In this month's episode of Outdoor Radio, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra visit a farm in South Woodstock which serves as the bobolink's breeding grounds.

Bobolinks are mostly black in color with yellow skull caps. They rely on our state's many prairie-like pastures and hay fields to bear and fledge their young.

Luckily, these birds are still plentiful across the country but their numbers are declining. Factors like increased planting and harvesting and more frequent mowing of hay fields disrupts their habitat.

Also in this podcast, learn about a program from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies which works with and compensates some local farmers and landowners. The program encourages more flexible field-mowing so the boblinks can nest in the high grasses.

Find more about similar nesting birds in this VPR story from last year and at these sites:

Outdoor Radio is produced in collaboration with the Vermont Center For Ecostudies.

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