Marsh Bird Nest Monitoring

Graduate Student Lead: Stephanie Schmidt

Least Bitterns, Common Gallinule and other marsh birds use emergent wetlands across Illinois for nesting and raising their young. Due to the substantial loss of wetlands across the state, available habitat is limited, making the management of that habitat for these species of special interest.

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Masters student Stephanie Schmidt currently leads our efforts to find and monitor these nests at The Emiquon Preserve, placing small cameras at nests to observe what predators visiting nests and relating that to water level management.

Previous work on this topic was published in 2021 using data collected by multiple undergraduates over several summers.


Fournier, AMV, Lancaster, JD, Yetter, AP, Hine, CS, Beckerman, T, Figge, J, Gioe, A, Greider, M, Jen, D, Johnson, C, Larreur, M, Shaw, A, Wolter, K, Wood, M, Wu, D, O’Neal, B, Hagy, HM. 2021 Nest success and nest-site selection of wetland birds in a restored wetland system Avian Conservation and Ecology 16:6. 10.5751/ACE-01782-160106