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Baring/MNWR: Moving Event: Rails, Wrens & Nighthawks; Whippoorwills, Woodcocks & Owls

Maurry Mills and Refuge staff

Join us for all or part of this evening event.

We will begin with a short introduction to the identification and calls of the rails, snipe, nighthawks, whippoorwills, and owls we hope to find.

Next we will carpool from the YCC Building to the abandoned railroad bed off US 1, that runs between the Lower Barn Meadow and Lower Magurrewock Marshes. There we will walk along the railroad bed in search of Marsh Wren, American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Sora, Wilson’s Snipe, Common Nighthawk, American Black Duck, Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Canada Goose, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, Eastern Kingbird, Swamp Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, and Warbling Vireo.

As dusk approaches we will drive to a singing ground on the Refuge and listen and watch for American Woodcock. The male flies from his daytime cover to an opening where he performs his courtship flights, precisely 15 to 22 minutes after sunset, depending on sky conditions. He begins by making a series of nasal "peents" before ascending several hundred feet in the air and spiraling back to the same spot on the ground. In addition to the "Timberdoodle" listen for White-throated Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, Veery, Common Nighthawk, and several owls. Several species of frogs may also be heard including Spring Peeper, Gray Tree Frog, Green Frog, and Pickerel Frog.

After observing the woodcock we will drive along the Ice House Road to listen for the call of the Eastern Whippoorwill, and play recordings of several species of owls in hopes of getting them to respond. Species that nest at Moosehorn include the tiny Saw-whet and the larger Barred and Great Horned Owls.

We will continue driving along the interior Refuge roads looking and listening for more woodcock, owls, and nighthawks as well as for mammals such as Beaver, White-tailed Deer, Moose, Black Bear, and Bobcat.

We will end the trip where the Refuge road intersects with the Charlotte Road, directly across from the Moosehorn NWR Headquarters driveway.

Meet at the YCC Building at MNWR Headquarters. From the Charlotte Rd turn into the entrance to Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and follow the signs. Restrooms in the YCC Building.