Several studies have documented the arrival time of spring migration of Virginia Rails (Rallus limicola), King Rails (R. elegans), and Soras (Porzana Carolina) on the southwestern shore of Lake Erie, though not in recent decades, and most of this information is based on anecdotal records. These three species were captured in wetlands on Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Ottawa and Lucas Counties, Ohio, USA, from 2004 to 2009. Virginia Rails and Soras were documented arriving in northern Ohio earlier than previous research, but not older anecdotal records. King Rails were within the bounds of all previous records. Using traps with playback may have allowed us to detect these species at earlier dates than previous research. Documenting current spring migration arrival timing of these three secretive marsh bird species is important for future monitoring, research and wetland management.
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Vol. 38 • No. 3