New Paper ~ The timing of autumn Sora (Porzana carolina) migration in Missouri

New paper out in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology !!

Fournier, A.M.V., Mengel, D.C., Gbur, E.E., Krementz, D.G. The timing of autumn Sora (Porzana carolina) migration in Missouri Wilson Journal of Ornithology 129:675-770 DOI:10.1676/16-108.1 PDF

Sora are the most commonly encountered rail during my PhD work, we observed over 8 thousand of them. When I originally started my project back in 2012 we didn’t have a good feel for when Sora were migrating through Missouri, we started surveying weeks before Sora were thought to arrive in the exisiting literature and that first field season ended October 7th because we thought migration would be over then. But day 1 we found birds, and then October 7, 2012 rolled around and we quickly realized that Sora migration was not over and we needed to readjust for the next field season, which then became the next four field seasons.

While we did observe some variation in the distribution of Sora across the migratory season, overall the shape is similar, and the median date of migration is the same across all four years in this paper (2012-2015) which suggests that Sora migration may be driven or initiated by changes in day light rather then weather.

We detected Sora migrating in Missouri much earlier in August then previous work, in part because no one was looking for them that early, and in part because we used a method we developed which maximized our detection probability Fournier and Krementz 2017. Sora are migrating through Missouri much earlier then most waterfowl, which suggests that their habitat needs require us to think about the timing of wetland management differently.

Written on January 8, 2018