Free Program. Register at

Greg Kearns, Naturalist, Patuxent River Park, has been monitoring bird populations throughout the Patuxent watershed for thirty years. His studies documented a decrease in the migratory Sora rails which he attributed to the decline of Wild Rice in the tidal freshwater marshes. His work documented the role of resident Canada Geese had in the reducing, and nearly eliminating, the Wild Rice.

He is tracking Sora rails using light-weight transmitters to understand their migration patterns along the East Coast. These birds are tracked through a network of towers across the United States and Canada to track tagged birds 24/7. This Motus wildlife tracking system is a collaborative effort by researchers started by the Bird Studies Canada organization.

Greg will provide preliminary data on this study, and discuss the collaboration possibilities with Calvert County Natural Resources Division and Calvert Nature Society. The Motus tracking system can be applied to the Barn Owl and American Kestrel nest box projects to better understand where the adults and fledglings head to after leaving our nest boxes. Through the Calvert Stewards volunteer program, this new Citizen Science initiative will provide important details on the breeding and migratory populations throughout North America of these hard-to-track species.

Organized by Calvert Nature Society ( with the generous support of the Cove Point Natural Heritage Trust.