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GOOSE POND FWA RESTORED NATIVE GRASS PRAIRIES HELP CONSERVE MIGRATING YELLOW RAILS -- BUT ACTUALLY SEEING A YERA IS ANOTHER STORY Jerry Downs reports seeing a YELLOW RAIL in Goose Pond Unit GP12 on October 25, 2014. Details from Jerry's ebird posting below. How difficult are Yellow Rails to see in the southern tier of Indiana in fall? Exceptionally difficult. And so far, Goose Pond FWA since the start of the prairie restoration would seem to be the only place for reported success in well over a century. The Ken Brock database for Yellow Rail in fall in the southern tier has two old records from the nineteenth century, the last one by B.W. Evermann in 1885. After that there are ZERO southern tier fall records until one YERA by Dennis Workman of the Goose Pond FWA staff riding a tractor and doing strip discing for fire breaks in the tall grass prairies on October 5, 2006. A hiatus of 121 years. According to Ken (personal comm): "The southern tier now has 13 records and 15 Yellow Rails" for fall. Of those records, all but two (the two old 19th century records of 3 birds) are from the Goose Pond restoration. The GPFWA staff has seen all the remaining YREAs while riding on machinery, except for two of those individuals. Those lone two exceptions are by birders walking afoot: one YERA by Lee Sterrenburg in Unit GP9 on November 6, 2007 and the current YERA record by Jerry Downs in GP12 on October 25, 2014. It does not happen very often. As is also the case now in the Louisiana rice fields, the best way to see Yellow Rails is to be riding on machines. Or as at the Yellow Rails and Rice Festival while walking along beside a rice harvesting machines. Which activity rally one can't do at GPFWA. The Goose Pond restored prairies managed by prescribed burns and the Louisiana rice fields are both helping to support Yellow Rail conservation during migration or on the wintering grounds (LA). YERA is a state Endangered Species in Indiana. Jerry's ebird report on his YERA: "This has been submitted to the IBRC. The bird flushed from very close to my feet & flew about 15 yards before landing again. I went to where it landed but did not re-flush it. When it flew, it flew right in front of me & I could tell right away that it was a rail. It was very close in size to the White-crowned Sparrows that I had been seeing. So it was smaller than the cardinal size a Sora would be expected to be. Also, I did not see any gray in the coloration, just yellow and brown. When it was flying away from me I got a good look at the rectangular white patches on the secondaries as well as the striping down the back. This was in the north end of GP 12 near where the tall prairie grasses give way to some mixed vegetation going to the south." --Lee Sterrenburg, DNR bird monitoring volunteer at Goose Pond FWA
2014-10-31 15:15:16
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Friends of Goose Pond
With regard too Jesse Patton's photo in Posts to the Page. Leg band recoveries are the main way of finding out where Indiana ducks come from. See Ducks Unlimited's Indiana Band Recovery Map. The green dots are Mallards. Quite a number of the green dots are from the prairie pothole region, a major area of habitat conservation efforts. http://www.ducks.org/hunting/bandreturn/IN --Lee Sterrenburg
2014-10-31 12:57:50
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GOOSE POND FWA WEEKLY WATERFOWL SURVEY WEDNESDAY 10/29/14 Results from a truncated waterfowl survey this week. Some levees were too wet to traverse. No early predawn component meant not catching the possible AM Wood Duck flight out. First survey this fall with two diving duck species. Survey by the staff. Canada Goose 75 Wood Duck 4 Gadwall 174 American Wigeon 17 Mallard 354 Blue-winged Teal 36 Northern Shoveler 101 Northern Pintail 15 Green-winged Teal 264 Ring-necked Duck 59 Ruddy Duck 3 American Coot 9170 --Lee S.
2014-10-31 12:34:05
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Friends of Goose Pond Annual Meeting

Date: December 3rd, 2014

Place: Pepperoni Grill, Bloomfield

Time: 6:30 PM

Details coming soon

 

 
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Sullivan County Community Hospital  Crane Federal Credit Union    Linton Elks

 


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