Frank Thoughts – 273 – June 29, 2012
Red-winged Blackbird Nesting
It can't be helped that cutting hay disrupts the nesting of many meadow birds. Some ground nesting hatchlings survive the mower passing right over the top of their nests. Red-winged Blackbird nests are always destroyed by mowing because they are built above ground on a weed. To make up for it in part, I always leave an uncut area of about an acre where I feed hay in winter. This area is too weedy to produce good hay anyway. The Red-winged Blackbirds whose nests are destroyed in the hay field soon rebuild among the ongoing colony in the weed patch. Red-winged Blackbird babies don't stay in the nest long, so by the time I see hatchlings on some of the later nests, I know that I can soon turn the cows in that field without much further losses. The birds that choose to build nests in the fields where cows have been grazing all spring have a longer span of time than the hay field nesters before their field is clipped, but they chance having nests knocked down or trampled by cows. Two pairs of Red-winged Blackbirds figured out how to have the best of both worlds. They nested in the cow pasture inside two hay rings. I discovered these two nests after moving the rings out of the way of the mower. I was about to get back on the tractor when I noticed several blackbirds hovering overhead, protesting. After finding the nests, I put the rings back where they were and skipped mowing this spot.
Photos below – (1.) A baby Red-winged Blackbird just big enough to have left the nest. (2.) One of the blackbird nests inside a hay ring. (3.) A wider view of the two hay rings.
Other selected Lyne Art pages
Alison's visual art tip page
Alison's Illustrators Linkup Page for Mid-South SCBWI members
Big Picture - Shows me demonstrating how to position a block of wood for carving
Links to people we know
1. Daniel Arite - Nashville, Tennessee - Daniel is both a musician and a visual artist. His first CD is called The Secret Marvelous Instead, Vol. 1 and features the lyrics of Thandiwe Shiprah and Daniel's music.
2. Tracy Barrett - Nashville, Tennessee - Tracy teaches at Vanderbilt University. She is also Regional Advisor Emeritus for the Midsouth (Kentucky & Tennessee) Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Google - Yahoo - Alltheweb - AltaVista
Link exchanges, individuals
1. - Colleen Cassidy-Burns - Sarasota, Florida - Colleen's work includes painted furniture, watercolors, art classes and custom framing.
2 - Sonya Moran - Byron Bay, Australia - Sonya is a sculptress. Her mediums include marble, wood, cold cast alloy and clear resin.
Link exchanges, organizations
1. Kentucky Ornithological Society - A web site for Kentucky birders. The KOS also sponsors an email listserv called Bird Kentucky
2. - Soho Gallery - Sydney, Australia - Soho gallery features a diverse mix of talented emerging and established artists. Many mediums shown, servives to private and public collectors
Shooting Star Nursery - specializes in plants native to the forests, prairies, and wetlands of eastern North America. Plants are grown from seed or vegetatively. They do not sell wild-collected plants.
return to - Lyne Art - Frank Lyne wood carvings - Alison Davis Lyne illustrations