USING STABLE ISOTOPES & eBIRD TO ASSESS MIGRATORY CONNECTIVITY OF FALL MIGRATING RAILS

2017-07-17T19:32:38Z (GMT) by Auriel Fournier
Rails are among the least studied birds in North America, despite their declining populations and the increasing pressure being put on public wetlands to be managed for multiple species. The timing of Sora, Virginia Rail and Yellow Rail (Porzana carolina, Rallus limicola, Coturnicops noveboracensis) migration, and how their populations are connected are vital parts of understanding how wetland management impacts rails. My project is documenting the timing of rail migration across Missouri and has noticed differences in the timing of birds in western vs eastern Missouri. I hypothesize these differences are because Missouri straddles the Central and Mississippi Flyways so these birds are coming from different parts of the breeding range. Because of the low detectability of rails and the lack of large scale captures I believe stable isotopes provide a great way of assessing if these rails are coming from different parts of their breeding range.