Grassland Nesting Study: Birds and Hay Fields

Woodstock Early Bird has been asked by some UVM and UConn researchers to help round up both farmers and birders who are interested in being part of  “focus group” sessions scheduled for next week at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park.

Part of the research concerns a program that once asked farmers to hold off on haying their fields until certain birds had either migrated on or finished their nesting activities. Among birds who love a good grassy field are the bobolinks (featured in the photo at left)  P.S. We asked and yes — for real —  one of the researchers is indeed Prof. Swallow! :

On Wednesday and Thursday, July 11 and 12, the University of Vermont and University of Connecticut will host two informal discussion groups to talk about Vermont’s birds and hay fields at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP Forest Center from 5:30-7:30PM.

At the focus groups, volunteers will help to develop a novel, market-based approach to bird conservation in Vermont. An extra incentive, in addition to helping field nesting birds and farmers, is that the researchers are providing a $40 fee in consideration of your time.

 This research is designed to look for ways in which community members can help support farmers as they incorporate nesting birds and other environmental considerations in their farm’s business plans.
The two focus group discussions will need 9 volunteers for each of the two evenings, July 11 and 12.
This will be a relaxed discussion to help researchers develop a better understanding of how farms affect ecosystems and wildlife in ways that matter to the people of Vermont, as well as receive feedback on survey materials.
To volunteer, please contact Graduate Research Assistant Michael Siers or Professor Stephen Swallow, both with the University of Connecticut, by emailing (best way) or   Or call Michael Siers at 704-277-3086. Volunteers must be adults over 18 years of age.  In emails, please say “Vermont farms” in the subject line
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