Bulrush Birding October 22, 2007
Here is a new reason to love sedges: they make a great hiding place for specialty sparrows!
Funk Bottoms is a great area for birds, as well as butterflies and dragonflies. I know there are a lot of hunters out there under the mistaken impression that it is a hunting area owned by Division of Wildlife. But, ah that is just one of its many uses. It is also a specialty spot for migrating sparrows and many other types of birds.
Yesterday's weather was incredible for mid-October, and Funk Bottoms was ground zero for a Le Conte's Sparrow adventure. It is an ideal place to encounter these elusive creatures, deep in the thickets of smartweeds, water-plantains and an incredible stand of River Bulrush, Bolboschoenus fluviatilis. River Bulrush is one of the jumbo sedges, and from a distance it looked a great deal like a small field of corn. Standing a majestic four to seven feet high, this is a sedge worth our notice. A predominately aquatic species, it has large bulbous tubers, hence the name: Bulboschoenus. The fluviatilis refers to "from a river."
My friend, Janet, worked in a native plant nursery, and says they are a lot of fun to dig in the freezing water in November, and something about stiff culms that cut like razors. Even so, maybe I could get some for my vernal pool area and attract Le Conte's as yard-birds. :)