Black Rail – No

Yesterday, I drove down to the Arkansas Valley near Bent’s Old Fort to pick off three new year birds.  Mississippi Kite and Cassin’s Sparrow were easy as expected, but the weather played havoc on my attempt for Black Rail.  Between the wind and rain I couldn’t hear any rails calling last night.  This is an unfortunate miss which means most likely I’ll have to pick a calm night and return soon after Alaska.  It’s a 480 mile round trip. Does anyone know how long into the season Black Rails call for?

Cassin's Sparrow in Lincoln Co, CO (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

Mississippi Kite flying over Lamar, CO (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

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2 Responses to Black Rail – No

  1. Fred says:

    Anthus and motacilla. Good luck.

  2. Greg Baker says:

    John…What is your email address?

    I have been following your blog since we met in Texas. I got the Hook-billed Kite at Bentsen (main entrance) at the end of April; two were reported by others; the previous day I spent 3-hours for this bird at the Santa Anna hawk tower, but no luck.

    On June 10th I was in the Bay Area on business and made a side trip to San Pablo NWR, Tubb Island. A Black Rail (lifer for me) was calling just after sunset (8:30 pm). It is about a brisk 3-hour round trip walk from the parking lot off Hwy 37. Let me know if you want specific directions, OK?

    Greg Baker (

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