Niagara Frontier Wildlife
No-Mow Grasslands Project
Although there are many reasons for the serious decline in populations of American bird
species reported by the Audubon Society (some species have been reduced up to 50%), one of
the major factors is loss of habitat. You have probably noticed changes on the frontier in
just the past few years, urban sprawl and other development that results in the permanent
loss of fields and woods. Most of this habitat, some of it vital to wildlife, will never
There is a way, however, to make up for some of this loss, particularly for
grassland-nesting bird species and other wildlife.
THAT WAY IS TO STOP MOWING FIELDS DURING THE NESTING SEASON. IF YOU MUST MOW, POSTPONE
THE MOWING UNTIL AFTER AUGUST 31, WHEN THE YOUNG BIRDS WILL HAVE LEFT THE NESTS.
If you own acres of land that you could leave unmowed during the nesting season, you
would make a valuable contribution to the bird life, butterflies, and other wildlife of
the frontier. Some birds you might benefit are the Savannah sparrow, the grasshopper
sparrow, eastern meadowlark, upland sandpiper, ring-necked pheasant, and the eastern
bluebird (our state bird and one that needs a house in addition to unmowed area). Check
our site for more information about bluebirds.
You need not have extremely large areaseven a small field or lot will provide
habitat for some wildlife, wildflowers, a little green space. You might have no land at
all of your own, but be able to convince someone who does to adopt a no-mow policy. Please
let us know. Check "Private Landowner" under Grasslands on our site or write to
us to find out who is participating. Keep your eyes open for areas that seem to be mowed
for no reason other than habit. People want to provide for wildlife. Convince them to
substitute habitat for habit. Its less work and less expensive to provide habitat!