Back in October, two more Ridgways Rails were released from the Buena Vista Audubon trail. Our team of monitors kept tabs on them for about three weeks. About 10 days into the monitoring, the Rails appeared to be stationary; i.e., there was no change in location as measured by the radio transceiver. Monitoring continued for another week and then it was decided that something happened to the birds or receivers.
State Fish and Wildlife personnel retrieved one transmitter, near a condo complex along the southeast shore of the lagoon. It is unclear what happened to the bird-there was no evidence nearby-the transmitter was lying on the ground. The second transmitter is right by the Coast Hwy fishing bridge and it was impossible to access it-likely it sunk down into the mud.
However, even though our monitoring project was terminated early, we have been hearing and seeing more Rails than ever before. We have not yet been able to determine if they are our released rails (as would be evidenced by bands on their legs). In fact, the last day we monitored, one of the monitors heard a Rail and then saw it, right by the East Dock on the duck pond!
Please be on the lookout for our released rails! The ones released back in July have a gold band on their left leg while the October released ones have gold on their left and silver on the right leg.