/#MORails 2015 Field Season By the Numbers

72 nights
10 sites
30 treatment wetlands
10,700 miles driven in the truck
~1200 miles driven on ATV
169 hours of surveying
1063 Sora (don’t do the math for miles/dollar per Sora, just don’t)
7 Virginia rails
12 Yellow rails
62 rails captured (3 Virginia, 5 Yellow, 54 Sora)
62 sets of feathers gathered for migratory connectivity research (these will be combined with feathers from previous years, the 60 from Canada this summer and hunter feathers from all over the central US!!!)
120 hours of nighttime go pro video footage (videos will be posted once I get time to process them)
5 fouled spark plugs
3 carburetors cleaned
2 spotlights held together with electrical tape and hope
1 new air filter
5 oil changes on ATVs
1 flat tire (ON THE FIRST DAY)
5 seasons of Breaking Bad watched
+/- 1000 cups of tea and coffee consumed

0 times running out of gas on the ATVS
0 times losing wallets
0 times putting ATVs into way to deep water
0 King Rails (sadly)
0 Black Rails (still not sure they exist….)

many hours sprawled out in random parking lots trying to figure out what was wrong with the atvs
many hours of laughing and brownies and cooking together

and we’re even coming in just SLIGHTLY under budget phew

yet another successful year, in large part thanks to the wonderful work of my great technician Hailee Pavisich who was always willing to do anything I asked her (including hours of mindless data entry). Her enthusiasm for rails was wonderful, and she is a great rail catcher and was always quick to help brainstorm our way out of tricky situations or ridiculous logistics. I swear I get so lucky each and every year with great techs.

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped us catch rails, your willingness to get muddy and run around at night in wetlands was greatly appreciated and really helped us get the numbers of captures we needed.

One more year to go folks, MORails will return for its final tour in 2016!!

Written on October 27, 2015