Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



The Nebraska Bird Review, Volume 89 September 2021 Number 3, pp 128-135


Published by Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union, Inc.


The uncertain status of the Black Rail in Nebraska is problematic. Different authors have interpreted existing reports differently resulting in varying conclusions about the species’ status. The exercise of deciphering the limited details of existing reports and litigating their credibility is of little value. The Black Rail is now a threatened species and there is almost no published information on whether it occurs regularly in Nebraska. Furthermore, the species has not been searched for in any consistent form or systematic manner. Without information and understanding about the species’ occurrence, taking actions to benefit and protect this species will undoubtedly be difficult for government and non-governmental agencies or for interested individuals who want to do so. Since 2013, the Nongame Bird Program at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has conducted surveys focused on secretive marh birds throughout the state. Although up to eight species were targeted in these specialized surveys, a primary objective was to determine the presence/absence and/or abundance of Black Rails. Here, we report the results from our survey efforts to detect Black Rails in Nebraska.