Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Arkansas
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Budd, M. J., and D. G. Krementz. 2011. Status and Distribution of Breeding Secretive Marshbirds in the Delta of Arkansas. Southeastern Naturalist 10(4):687-702.


We surveyed the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley of Arkansas (“Delta”) during the breeding seasons of 2005 and 2006 using the national marshbird monitoring protocol for secretive marshbirds. We detected and documented breeding by Podilymbus podiceps (Pied-billed Grebe), Ixobrychus exilis (Least Bittern), Rallus elegans (King Rail), and Gallinula chloropus (Common Moorhen). We detected but did not document breeding by Botaurus lentiginosus (American Bittern), Porphyrula martinica (Purple Gallinule), or Fulica americana (American Coot), all of which have been documented to breed in the Delta. Our estimated occupancy rates for breeding marshbirds in the study area ranged from a low of 6% for the King Rail in 2006 to a high of 27% for Least Bitterns in 2005. The range of these occupancy rates are low and reflect the rarity of secretive marshbirds in the Delta. Secretive marshbird occupancy rates were higher in the southern third of the Delta.