Grasslands are being lost. Grassland birds are at risk. You can help!

property_sign_finalproperty_sign_finalDo you own grasslands (including old fields, pasture, hayfields and farms) on property in eastern Greene County? Are you willing to incorporate a few simple management practices on your grasslands to manage for grassland bird conservation? If so, you may be interested in learning more about becoming a Grassland Habitat Steward with the Greene Land Trust...

Click here for our brochure: "Become a Grassland Habitat Steward" (PDF).

(For more detailed information about grassland habitat stewardship, please read our grassland landowner guidebook: "Conserving Greene County Grasslands: A Landowner's Guide". Call the Greene Land Trust to request a copy at 518-731-5544.)

Who is eligible to become a Grassland Habitat Steward?
Any DSC00704DSC00704landowner that has all of the following attributes:
1. Owns 10 or more acres of grassland, or land restorable to grassland; and,
2. Owns grassland located in the Greene County Grassland Conservation Focus Area; and,
3. Is willing to commit to the voluntary "Grassland Habitat Stewardship Pledge".

Assistance and Support for Grassland Habitat Stewards:
Once you have signed the Grassland Habitat Stewardship Pledge, the Greene Land Trust will work with you to manage your grasslands and promote your stewardship commitment.  Grassland Habitat Stewards will receive:

  • Attractive property signs to communicate voluntary habitat stewardship.
  • A site-specific Habitat Management Plan (click here for an example).
  • A copy of "Conserving Greene County Grasslands: A Landowner's Guide".
  • A beautiful "Grassland Birds of Greene County" poster with illustrations by nationally acclaimed local artist, James Coe.
  • Recognition in Greene Land Trust publications, website and events.
  • Technical assistance, when resources allow, with grassland habitat management.   

10 Simple Actions for Grassland Habitat Stewardship:
A few simple management practices can go a long way toward providing good habitat forMow grasslands after August 1st to protect nesting birds and keep out shrubs and trees.  Mow grasslands after August 1st to protect nesting birds and keep out shrubs and trees. declining grassland-dependent bird species and other wildlife.  The Greene Land Trust can help you find a balance of practices that are complimentary with how your land is used in relation to what grassland birds need.  Here are a few recommended grassland management practices to consider.   

  1. Nesting season is May through July.  Grassland birds nest on the ground, so keep grassland areas as undisturbed as possible during these three critical months.
  2. Mow grasslands (after August 1st) every 2-3 years to keep out trees, shrubs and weeds. 
  3. Plant grass seed to maintain a diversity of grass heights and densities.
  4. Help to reduce nest predation risks, especially by cats.
  5. Consider removing hedgerows - these are seen as "walls" by grassland birds and limit their habitat, as well as provide corridors for nest predators.
  6. Keep grassland areas free of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. 
  7. Monitor for invasive grassland plants.
  8. Manage any wetlands or wet meadows on the property for habitat.
  9. To enhance bird habitat, install nest boxes or perching posts.
  10. Post conservation signage to increase awareness of grassland bird habitat stewardship.  
  • THIS SATURDAY -- Timberdoodle Dance with Rich Guthrie

     The Timberdoodle (aka American Woodcock) has a unique courtship dance. In spring, the Timberdoodle, performs a magical evening mating ritual on the edge of open fields, prairies and wood edges.

    American WoodcockAmerican WoodcockAt dusk, the bird quietly enters the open area. At first glance, you might not even see him as these birds are superbly camouflaged. But you will certainly hear him! His dance begins with a series of buzzy, nasal “peent-peent-peent” calls. As the peenting ends, his assent skyward begins. He makes a melodic whirring sound as he spirals into the sky. As he begins to tumble out of the sky, the sound changes to a twittering warble until he reaches his spot on the ground close to where he took off. And the cycle begins again, for about an hour each evening.

    Rich Guthrie will lead a walk to hear and watch these beautiful little birds in their spring ritual THIS SATURDAY:

    Saturday April 6, 2019

    7:30 PM (note this is in the evening)

    Willows at Brandow Point

    480 Rt 385, Athens, NY 12015

    Wear boots (it is likely to be muddy) and bring a flash light (to be used sparingly). Since the Timberdoodles only dance when the weather is nice, check our website in case of inclement weather.

    For more information call 518-731-5544.

  • Reservations Closed - Build a Birdhouse and Bird Feeder

    Come make a Blue Bird House to take home and put in your yarBluebird on nestboxBluebird on nestboxd. 

    This is a FREE event for all kids. 

    There will be people there to help with the building.

    Pizza served at noon!


    Saturday April 6, 2019 10 AM,

    Reservations required to ensure we have sufficient materials for all participants.

    Call 518-731-5544 by April 1, to reserve your spot.

    This event will be held at the Willows, 480 State Route 385 in Athens.

    Sponsored by Athens Sportsmen’s Club and Greene Land Trust. Funds by Athens Community Foundation.  

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