There are some things in life that are just more important than sleeping in! Yeap, this past Sunday I finally decided that I was going to have a slow morning. I was tired, a little down, and eager to sleep in after several months of go, go, go! Well, I did sleep in a bit but was suddenly awakened (earlier than I wanted) by my cell phone. Before the message ended and after I heard the words "Yellow Rail" I was dressed and ready to go. Don Gorney had discovered this misguided bird while driving downtown Indianapolis on Sunday. After assuming the bird was either lost or a victim of a window strike, Don called out the troops (which thankfully included me) to help catch the bird so that it could be released in a more suitable habitat.
Yellow Rail (photo by J. Mueller)... Downtown Statehouse, Indianapolis, IN
By the time I had arrived, several dedicated individuals were already looking throughout the bushes on the lawn of the Indiana Statehouse in search for this secretive bird. After about 20 minutes, Don rediscovered the bird. It quickly flew out of the roses and into a another group of small shrubs and hid almost instantly. We found it again and after everyone had a chance to take pictures and look at the bird we gathered around and prepared to capture it. While Don held the net, another gentleman and I got down on our knees and prompted the bird to move forward into the net... it did just what we wanted, was caught, and was taken to a nearby wetland. It was a strong bird so I believe it will be OK. Since their behavior is to fly low up and then back down into hiding, the bird would have likely been hit by a car if it had not been captured. An absolutely awesome experience AND the first time I have ever seen a Yellow Rail.