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Friday, May 25, 2012
A Sora Stops Off
The sora is a secretive water bird that often spends its time in tall vegetation in freshwater marshes and wetlands. This individual was first spotted at Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo in the middle of March, about two weeks earlier than wildlife biologists saw one in 2011. The warmer winter this year could be a potential reason why this member of the Rallidae family was spotted sooner than expected.
This bird species is easily identified by its grey breast and yellow beak that darkens at the tip. While you may get lucky and see one darting in between the plants at the edge of the pond, these birds are more often noticed by their call, which is a slow ker-whee that ends on a higher note than it begins.
Wildlife biologists will even play recorded sora calls in marshes, their preferred habitat, because this often causes soras in the area to investigate who or what is making the sound! This field method is known as call broadcasting and is used on numerous bird species in the wild.
As we get further into spring, we’re seeing a wide variety of migratory birds stop off at Nature Boardwalk. Most of these birds are more active in the morning, so come by early to see what you can see!
Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
By transforming the South Pond into Nature Boardwalk, Lincoln Park Zoo has created an urban ecosystem in the heart of the city. Enjoy a virtual view as native plants and animals establish themselves in this rare refuge.
As Lincoln Park Zoo’s director of horticulture, Brian oversees the zoo’s gardens, from bud to bloom.
As coordinator of wildlife management, Mason chronicles the bugs, birds, fish, insects, mammals and more that make their homes at Nature Boardwalk.
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