Victim of a likely cat attack, a Black Rail is released

Black Rail 13-2457 at SF Bay Center banded for release on 10/31/13
Black Rail, photo by Cheryl ReynoldsBLRA

Last week’s “Patient of the Week” on Facebook garnered a lot of attention from our fans: a Black Rail brought to us with a leg fracture and other injuries consistent with a likely domestic cat attack.

After a successful rehabilitation at our San Francisco Bay center, the bird was banded by Laurie Hall, a PhD student in the University of California, Berkeley’s Beissinger Lab and researcher with the Black Rail Project.

An elusive bird that hides in thick marsh vegetation, the Black Rail is listed as a near-threatened species (and formally listed as a threatened species by the State of California).

The rail’s wetland habitat, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) notes, “is threatened by pollution, drought, wildfires, groundwater removal, changing water levels, grazing and agricultural expansion.”

Black Rail 13-2457 at SF Bay Center being measured before release on 10/31/13
Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Below, Hall sent us photos of the rail’s release on Thursday afternoon near Novato, CA. It flew several meters into the wetland after release.


Click here for more information on Hall’s dissertation research.