This is about an action by Saving Birds’ Board Member Brian Allen. Brian was driving by the Manistee County Blacker Airport when he saw an Upland Sandpiper. He also noticed a mower cutting grass nearby. He immediately contacted Airport Manager Barry Lind. Following their conversation, Brian sent him the following email message:
Hi, this is Brian Allen. Thanks for taking the time to meet with me yesterday afternoon when I stopped by. I appreciate you taking the time to talk about Upland Sandpipers at the airport with me.
Here is a link from Cornell University with a brief summary about the bird: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Upland_Sandpiper/overview
Also here is a link to one of the websites that record bird data from Manistee County Blacker Airport: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L3762563
These scarce birds are now more than ever depending on areas with open grassland like the airport. They nest in late May and June and then migrate south as early as mid July. Mowing grassland areas where they nest before the end of June can destroy nests and young birds. There are few, if any, other areas in the county now with these birds and the next nearest population I know of is in an area of protected grassland in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Leelanau County.
In addition to the Sandpipers, other scarce birds such as Eastern Meadowlarks, Bobolinks and Brewer's Blackbirds are also utilizing the grasslands of the airport.
Thanks for your flexibility you expressed for the mowing to be reduced in some areas prior to the end of June.
Please contact me if you have any questions or I can help in any way with additional information.
Editor's Note: Mr. Lind did delay cutting, and as far as Brian knows, the birds were successful.