Walk this way at Breakneck Hill (getting ready for grassland nesting)

Above: This time of year, I’m sure Breakneck Hill doesn’t look this lush. But spring is here, which means its time again to protect grassland areas that will be used for nesting by birds whose numbers have been in decline. (photos left and right with permission by Dawn Vesey Puliafico from Things with Wings)

Things are definitely looking more spring like in Southborough these days. And the forecast shows most of the week will be beautiful for walking some of Southborough’s many trails.

If you decide to pick Breakneck Hill Conservation Land for a hike, please stick to walking on the marked trails.*

breakneck hill sign 1The stewards of Breakneck Hill CL worked hard to redesign trail paths that protect grassland bird habitats. Sadly, last year someone disrespected the trail markings by crumpling up and tossing signs that mark protected areas, trail paths, and temporarily closed trails. Let’s hope there isn’t a repeat this year.

The Stewards asked me to share the following notice:

Breakneck Hill sign 2Breakneck Hill Conservation Land Gets ready for the Grassland Nesting Birds!

April marks the start of the nesting season for grassland birds, such as bobolinks and savannah sparrows. These birds are in global decline, but have been visiting and nesting at the Breakneck Hill Conservation Land the past few years. The Southborough Stewardship Committee has managed about 10 of the 90 acres there as grasslands to provide habitat for these birds. Visitors will notice the signs posted to remind walkers to stay on the trails given the fragile nesting habitat. Also, some trails close between now and August to keep walkers off the habitat. There are still plenty of trails available for walking!

Last year the signs placed by the Stewards were vandalized. Tampering with town property is prohibited, so the Stewards ask that anyone witnessing vandalism to report it to the Southborough Police Department.

In addition to managing the property for grassland birds, the Stewards promote habitat for pollinators, such as bumblebees and butterflies, with the native gardens there. They also continue to promote passive recreation opportunities for walkers, bird watcher, and nature lovers.

Here are some more and closer up views of BHCL. (The bird shots are courtesy of Dawn Vesey Puliafico, the rest by me):

bobolink at BHCL by Dawn Vesey Puliafico another bobolink at BHCL by Dawn Vesey Puliafico savannah sparrow at BHCL by Dawn Vesey Puliafico more savannah sparrows at BHCL by Dawn Vesey Puliafico

hiking at Breakneck Hill conservation Land by Beth Melo BHCL vista by Beth Melo BHCL grasslands by Beth Melo

*Speaking of where we step, a friendly reminder – if you have a dog, please pick up after it. We have a pooper scooper bylaw passed in 2016. It does apply to trails and parks. From what I heard and saw, that’s not always adhered to. (I’ll spare you my photographic evidence!)

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