02-10-14 Bird Field Note

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02-10-14 Bird Field Note

February 10, 2014

Nocturnal acoustic monitoring captures the spectrogram of a rare songbird.

Acoustic Monitoring Update: New Bird Species Detected 2/10/14 Debbie Leick The

Our floodplain acoustic monitor recorded the unusual call on April 28, 2013. Bill Evans, from Old Bird Inc., helped us identify it as a Virginia Rail. People rarely see this secretive marsh bird and frequently use vocalizations to document its presence. This new detection brings our total bird count to 201 species!

Although rails migrate at night, we do not know if the recorded call indicates a migrating or a local bird. Montana state records confirm they breed and overwinter in the Bitterroot River corridor. Recent online submissions also show a year-round presence.

In January, Kerr snapped a rare photo of a Virginia Rail at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. Thick marsh vegetation hides the species from all but the most patient observers.

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