and sora are the most widespread species in our region.
The VRE (Virginia Rail
Express) station is located in Manassas.
Because secretive marsh birds are difficult to detect without the use of broadcast calls (Conway and Gibbs 2011), standardized broadcast surveys should be used to estimate numbers of breeding birds such as Virginia Rail
, probable nesters such as American Bittern, and species rarely detected during the breeding season, such as Sora.
2009, and consisted of a 10-min passive visual and listening period followed by a 6-min broadcast period during which we played calls of the behaviorally cryptic Virginia rail
to increase its detection (Conway and Gibbs, 2005).
Among the more rare sightings: a flame-headed, yellow-bodied western tananger; a secretive Virginia rail
, denizen of marshes; and an American bittern, a heron much less easy to spot than the ubiquitous great blue.
I used some common birds, such as the burrowing owl, and others that were not as common, such as the Virginia rail
, which is a secretive marsh species that is heard more often than seen.
," Kelling says suddenly, though the team can't count any birds that they hear before midnight.
"That's a Virginia rail
!" Corps wildlife biologist Roberta Swift exclaimed immediately after one guttural call came from the nearby brush.
Mountain quail, Virginia rail
, pileated woodpecker, sooty shear-
The abundance of purple loosestrife in New York's non-wooded wetlands might explain why marsh-dependent birds such as the black tern, least bittern, American bittern, pied-billed grebe, Virginia rail
and sora have declined during the last 30 years.