Financing bird-friendly mowing by linking conservation-minded donors to conservation-minded farmers.

Grassland birds are declining in the northeastern U.S. This decline is largely due to the financial pressures that force farmers to mow their fields during the weeks that birds like Bobolinks are actively nesting. To protect these grassland birds, we must develop new strategies for promoting conservation on working landscapes such as private farms. The Bobolink Project matches conservation-minded donors to conservation-minded farmers which allows us to “buy” the precious few weeks that Bobolinks and other grassland birds need to complete their nesting cycle, and successfully raise young.

The Bobolink Project is a proven approach that can protect birds and farms. This innovative work provides a new way to connect people who are willing to make financial donations to sustain our wildlife and rural heritage with farmers who are willing to help, but who also face stark economic realities.

We offer farmers economic assistance to delay their mowing schedules so that grassland nesting birds can complete their breeding cycles. As a conservation donor, you can help by giving money that will allow us to “buy time” so grassland birds can successfully raise young on working farms. As a landowner you can help by offering to enroll your farm in The Bobolink Project and be paid to cover the costs you face due to delaying your harvesting schedule. The Bobolink Project truly provides a win-win situation for both farmers and grassland birds.

"Birders and farmers share a common interest in land preservation that is often overlooked. A pledge to the Bobolink Project will help by compensating farmers who agree to adopt bird-friendly farming practices. This allows you to support bird conservation AND local farms, which is good for everyone."

See David Sibley’s comments on the Sibley (Bird guides) Facebook page.


In order for The Bobolink Project to succeed, we need the cooperation of both Farmers and Donors. The selection of farms interested in participating in 2016 has now been completed – if you are a farmer interested in enrolling your farm in 2017, please check back on this website by the end of February 2017 for instructions about how to apply. If you are a conservationist who wishes to financially donate to the project, you may follow the instructions given at the For Donors tab; any money raised now will be held in a Bobolink Project account for use in 2017.

Check out “For Farmers” and “For Donors” to express your interest in participating.

Donors of The Bobolink Project enjoying a field day with UVM's ecologist Allan Strong (Picture courtesy: Allan Strong)
A Bobolink like this one may weigh only about an ounce, but it is capable of a 12,000-mile roundtrip migration every year from the Champlain Valley to Argentina.