Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Charles A. Ely
King, Sora, and Virginia Rails were studied at 10 different marshes in Kansas in 1975. Populations of these three species were studied by using tape-recorded calls during the period 27 March through 10 June. Dates of first calling and peak calling periods were determined. Breeding data were collected whenever possible. Results from censusing showed that an auditory index technique is useful for determining relative sizes of King and Virginia Rail populations. Data were inconclusive for Soras because few responses were obtained. Rails were trapped at three of the study areas from 23 June through 11 August, and the resulting data were used to derive a second population index. A total of 728 rails were trapped and banded in 1975. Thirteen nests were found, nine of them of Virginia Rails. The most effective nest-finding technique was a careful search of an area occupied by a male giving his distraction call. A vegetation analysis (% species composition and dominant vegetation) was made in each study area to help determine the preferred habitat of rails.
Copyright 1975 Roger W. Tacha
Tacha, Roger W., "A Survey of Rail Populations in Kansas, with Emphasis on Cheyenne Bottoms" (1975). Master's Theses. 1593.