As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday 20 March 2013

New Orland Grasslands trail stirs environmental concerns

March 13, 2013
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County released plans Monday for a trail and bike path in Orland Grasslands, but some environmentalists say the project could jeopardize the recovery of a fragile ecosystem by fragmenting land used by migratory birds.

Though site volunteers said they felt their concerns were largely acknowledged by the District’s design team, they remain apprehensive about the trail’s southeast segment, which bows around the west side of a large pond that fronts onto La Grange Road.

“Every single inch matters,” said Pat Hayes, Orland Grasslands’ site steward. “What we’re dealing with is not just a pretty place. This is sustenance for ecosystems and species that have nowhere else to go.”

A letter from the Bird Conservation Network cited several bird species known to nest in the Grasslands — Henslow’s Sparrow, Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow and Bobolink — that could be affected, as well as shorebird species known to stopover on the site during their migration. Though small, a path separating the pond from the Grasslands’ interior could deter birds and turtles from critical mud flats along the water’s edge.

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