The Quad 30 Campaign

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Quad 30 Bird of the Day

Sunday, June 6th
Knapp, Minnesota


Virginia Rail

When conducting a BBS, the observer is instructed to count all birds that are identified by sight and sound within a 0.25 mile of a stop. Birds can't be enticed to respond to a tape or to "pishing." On Sunday's Knapp route that traversed some prime wetland habitat, Carl and I had already heard a couple of Soras. For some unknown reason, I had the urge to clap while standing near one particular wetland. I'm not sure why this particular wetland, as I had not had the urge before while listening to the sounds coming from other wetlands alng the route.

I gave about 4 loud claps, and a Virginia Rail responded very nicely with its "kidick, kidick" call. Carl and I exchanged grins.

And now, I ask you to please keep a secret - don't anyone tell the BBS folks in the USGS office in Patuxent, but that species made it onto Knapp's checklist. The BBS is not the method of choice to track populations of certain species, rails being one of them. So, I guess this is the way that I rationale it. Adding 1 Virginia Rail to the list will not affect any interpretation of population trends for this species. BUT, it may mean a few extra dollars for the Quad 30 Campaign as this species is seldom "gotten" on BBS routes.

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