Unique Sighting: Yellow Rail

Last month Eric DeFonso was at Monte Vista NWR in the San Luis Valley. He heard a bird making a ticking sound. Thinking this may be a Yellow Rail, he made several sound recordings and sent them to Nathan Pieplow, who confirmed that yes, this was a Yellow Rail. Hear a recording by Nathan Pieplow submitted to eBird.

How unique and historic is this discovery? This singing Yellow Rail was only the second ever recorded for Colorado! The Colorado Bird Records Committee documents the first observation in 1906.

As more observers went to search for the Yellow Rail, a second, and possibly a third, singing bird was found in the same marsh. The sighting even made local news with The Colorado Sun running an article on July 18. Two CFO field trips to the San Luis Valley gave others the opportunity to experience this bird, rare in our state. Thank you to Eric DeFonso and John Rawinski for leading those trips.

This image is of a Yellow Rail by Sparrow Claw seen on 24 May 2018 at Munuskong WMA, Chippewa, Michigan. Macauley Library ML102078561.