Rail Migration

Staff Lead Fall Work: Auriel Fournier
Graduate Student Lead Spring Work: Chad Cremer

Sora and Virginia Rail are migratory rails that are game species across much of their range, including here in Illinois. Both species are emergent wetland associated, using non-wooded wetlands across their annual cycle.

Over the next several years we will be trapping and tagging both species during Fall and Spring Migration to better understand their migratory timing (when they are along the Illinois River), habitat use (what places they use) and stopover duration (how long they stay when they are here). Understanding these three parts of their natural history will allow future projects to investigate how wetlands managed for waterfowl impact rails, which are often using the same habitats at a slightly different time of year.