Precise sampling and observational techniques are fundamental to the management and conservation of many bird species. An array of camera traps (n = 15) was deployed to collect information on a poorly known wetland bird, Lewin's Rail (Tasmanian) (Lewinia pectoralis brachipus) on Tasman Island, Australia, from 25 August 2012 to 10 June 2013. Using camera traps located to maximize detection probability, images from 1,213 camera events quantified Lewin's Rail occurrence and temporal variation in activity. Observations of social organization and behavior, agonistic behavior, foraging, relations within family groups, breeding activity, and diel activity were recorded. Lewin's Rail behavior was documented for a total of 294 days (n = 3,975 camera trap days). This study demonstrates the effectiveness of camera traps as a tool for studying secretive ground-dwelling birds. Although camera traps cannot replace other avian survey methods, they provide a complementary method for collecting behavioral data on Lewin's Rail and other ecologically similar species.
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Vol. 40 • No. 4