Recovery of Henslow’s Sparrow Attributed to Grassland Management, Seething Desire for Revenge

MONROE-After years of careful grassland management and a seething desire for revenge, Henslow’s Sparrow populations are slowly rebounding in central Iowa.

The tallgrass prairie bird, known for hiding in dense cover and holding grudges for generations, has been monitored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a “Species of Management Concern” since 1995.

“Habitat loss was a significant problem for Henslow’s,” said local ornithologist Dr. Walter Carrington.  “They need large, undisturbed tracks of grassland for nesting and incubating their bitter malevolence.”

For the past two decades, biologists have limited haying and burning of grasslands during the breeding season.

“By carefully limiting grassland disturbance, we saw increased nest success and threatening glares.  Within five years, Henslow calls were becoming more frequent.  Although the heavy breathing and hanging up did start to get annoying.”

Dr. Carrington estimates that by 2020, the bird’s boiling need for retribution will have propelled populations back to stable levels.

“I’m happy to say Henslow’s Sparrows are coming back.  And their long-awaited vengeance will be swift.”






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