I feel horrible that I haven’t been hitting my goal of a post a week on this blog:/ but the good news is that I am busy. Nest searches and field scouting have taken up a lot of my time lately and I won’t complain about that one bit!
This last week, the crew and I had the opportunity to walk a couple hay fields and we worked to flush birds from their nests with a hand line made of a light rope and old tin peach cans filled with gravel to make some noise. This set up isn’t too different from the rope line we also drag between two quads, its just lighter and a tad easier to pull. I can’t begin to explain how much of a workout hand dragging a field is, but in some cases its our only option as the atv’s can damage a crop and walking the fields minimizes that. But I’m never opposed to a good workout!
So, anyhow while walking these fields you really get a very “up-close” look at nature’s interaction with agriculture and while I am mostly targeting duck egg rescue in my efforts, it’s really hard to not try to save every other critter out there in those fields that are most likely going to be destroyed during the crop harvest process. There are all kinds of black birds, song birds, waterbirds, and even snakes and rodents that utilize these fields for cover as well as waterfowl and game birds like pheasants and turkeys. I realize that I cannot save them all and what the team and I are doing is great work, but it’s tough work too (not just physically).
If you read this post, I encourage you to reach out to a farmer / land owner / equipment operator that you might know or even just run into and let them know about our Egg Salvage Efforts! The more people we can get on board with this, the more our efforts will pay off!
Now, the whole reason I went off on that tangent is because I have been running into quite a few nests lately and I know that every year, during the Springtime, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Funky Nests in Funky Places Contest happens. This is a very fun contest and it’s easy to participate! My kiddos have been on the look out for nests for the last few weeks and I am pretty sure Casey has been too! All you have to do is submit a photo of a nest you may spot! There are a few categories you can submit under as well. Check out the video below for a little highlight about the contest and the link above has all the details!
I know there is always a “Negative Nancy” who is going to say that this contest is a bad idea because people looking for nests may disturb and hinder them from a successful hatch, but I like to look at the positive aspect of this contest and how it encourages people to engage with and become more in tune with science and aware of the nature around them and there are some great prizes you could win too!
Get out there are enjoy nature!!! It is simply amazing!