Wetland Survey Update

MRBO typically conducts wetland surveys during the spring and summer months. For those that aren’t familiar, MRBO visits around 60 private and public wetland reserve easements (WRE) across the state and samples a snapshot of bird usage during the spring migration and summer breeding seasons.

MRBO surveyor Matt Longabaugh

This information is beneficial for showing the effects wetland restoration efforts have on Missouri’s wetland-using birds. Currently, MRBO is proceeding by analyzing several years’ worth of data. This update is unfortunately for the purpose of informing you all that because of the extensive traveling required of our employees, we have suspended wetland surveys for the rest of 2020 and will resume this project in 2021.

On the positive side, we had a very fruitful two weeks this April at the onset of the migration, when surveys were underway. We had high numbers of our target wetland-obligate species: rails and bitterns. To get into the specifics, we had a total of 37 American Bitterns, 5 King Rails, 67 Sora, and 32 Virginia Rails. King Rails are endangered in Missouri, so having this many King Rails in the short amount of time we surveyed is exciting and could be an indicator of the impact these restoration efforts are having on our King Rail population!

King rail ‘clucks’

This recording of a King Rail “clucking” was taken from one of our surveys this year!

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