Thursday, December 14, 2006
Our farmer recently picked up the hay bales he made when cuting our hayfield in September. He is a busy man and was just getting around to it. We pondered what had taken place in the hayfields this year.
American Bitterns nested there and have for several years. We were privleged to see their babies, who pointed skyward to make themselves "invisible", the same tactic used by the adults.
We call our property Bobolink Farm because of the many Bobolinks who nest in the hayfield in spring and summer, then feed there before beginning their long migration to South America.
When the hay is cut in fall, the field attracts many raptors. Northern Harriers, parade through the fall, coursing over the hayfield looking for voles. We see American Kestrels perched on the hay bales hunting for crickets in the grass. Other raptors as well, such as Red-tailed Hawks, stop and look for a meal.
As the hay bales were carted away, we were a little sad to see them go; they had been so picturesque. We also realized that there went the habitat, temporarily, that had been important to so many birds, now neatly rolled up and on its way to what would be some very happy cows.
Photos © Lillian Stokes, 2006