Secretive Marsh Birds

Sora, a rail bird.The Sanctuary in collaboration with CBNERR-MD monitors the status of secretive marsh birds in Jug Bay tidal freshwater marshes through a volunteer-based monitoring program. Secretive marsh birds, rails and bitterns, often serve as indicator species to assess the overall health of wetland ecosystems. Federal agencies are working together to monitor and estimate secretive marsh bird population trends in protected areas across North America in order to document effects of management actions. Several National Estuarine Research Reserve sites around the country, including Jug Bay-CBNERR-MD, participate in this effort.

As a participant of the National Marsh Bird Monitoring Program, Jug Bay-CBNERR-MD utilizes the North American Secretive Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocol to conduct surveys.  Click for details on the National Marsh Bird Monitoring Program.

Jug Bay started monitoring secretive marsh birds in 2007. Currently we are monitoring 10 sites along the river, three to four times a year from May to July. Information collected includes: species presence, total number, call type, direction, and approximate distance from survey point. 

The main objectives of this monitoring program are to:
Estimate the density, distribution, and population trends of marsh birds in Jug Bay's tidal freshwater marshes.
2) Document habitat conditions that influence the abundance of marsh birds. 

Volunteers are critical to the research conducted here. Click to get involved.