Black Rails at the St. Johns NWR
February 2, 2022 @ 4:15 pm - 7:00 pm$65.00
Meet the trucks at 4:15pm at the south parking area of Cracker Barrel Restaurant, 4745 Helen Hauser Blvd, Titusville FL 32780. There are no restrooms at the site. This entails a walk THRU the marsh, not on a boardwalk, trail, or a levee. You may get wet walking through water, mud, and grass. Old shoes, or ‘knee’ boots are advised depending on the amount of rain on the site. It will get cold – you may be out after dark. Please dress warmly.
A caravan of USFWS trucks will carry attendees into the restricted access St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge. Preserved as the last home of the now-extinct Dusky Seaside Sparrow, these marshes west of Titusville are unique because here saline water seeps to the surface from a layer of salty water that lies above the Floridan Aquifer, creating marine-type habitats in the middle of a huge freshwater floodplain – perfect for secretive marsh birds. King Rails and Virginia Rails are possible too. As the sun sets on the marsh horizon and wading birds flock to their roosts, we will make stops and play tapes to try to entice rails to call. Erin studied rails for her Master’s Degree in Ornithology at University of Central Oklahoma.