|Dickcissel, 18 May 2001, Hunterdon County, NJ|
Finally, this morning, I had time to just park myself and watch the field. After about half an hour, a male Blue Grosbeak flew across the field and landed nearby! But before I could get my camera on it, he flew off to the other end of the field. Here's the best shot I could get, with the bird in the top of a tree over 100 yards away. Not a great shot!
|Male Blue Grosbeak, hand held CoolPix P500, 36x optical zoom, 100+ yards|
Before I could get a good shot, it flew all the way across the large field and landed in the top of a bare tree even farther away. As I was walking towards it, it dropped back down into the field, where I was finally able to get a more decent shot.
|Male Blue Grosbeak, Clover Hill, Hunterdon County, NJ, 1 June 2012|
At one point, the Blue Grosbeak was even in the same view with a Dickcissel! Two locally scarce breeders in one shot!
|Dickcissel (left) and Blue Grosbeak (right)|
|Recently mowed grassland bird habitat, Hunterdon County, NJ.|
It's actually very hard to understand how these grassland birds persist, since their nesting fields are constantly being mowed before they can nest and produce young. The best way to help these birds is to avoid mowing from late April to late July--which unfortunately is exactly when these fields are usually the most productive as hay fields. Fortunately several organizations are working to promote grassland stewardship for nesting birds.