Annual May Meeting

Date: Monday, May 21, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM punch bowl; 6:30 dinner
Location: Roselle Park on the Grand River in Ada
Program: Dr. Marie Perkins: An Overview of Monitoring Methods, Capture Techniques and Population Status for North American Rails

Once again, this year’s Annual May Meeting will be held at the beautiful facility at Roselle Park. The entrance to the park is located directly across from Michigan Street and the park is located north of M-21 (Fulton Street). Click on image left for Google map. Arrive early to enjoy a guided or solo stroll through the park.

A potluck dinner is planned, so bring your favorite dish to pass. Bring your own serving utensils and table service. The only table service provided will be cups for the punch bowl, if needed. Our aim is to be as environmentally friendly as possible. No reservations are needed and there is no cost. However, donations for the punch and cups will be accepted. We hope to see all of our GRAC friends for the final meeting of the season!

Hike: 5:00 PM – Becky Kuhn will lead a hike, or stroll the park on your own.

Punch Bowl: 6:00 PM – Time to mix and mingle.

Potluck Dinner: 6:30 PM – Self-serve dinner begins. Some suggestions for dishes to bring are fresh fruit plate or fruit salad, fresh veggies or garden salad, specialty bread/rolls with spread, hot potato or vegetable dish, meat platter or hot casserole or meat dish, or dessert. Coffee and tea may be available depending on weather.

Meeting: follows dinner
Six species of rail occur in North America. Many of these species currently are listed as endangered or threatened in areas throughout the United States, and others have shown population declines. These secretive marsh birds rely extensively on wetlands containing areas of emergent vegetation for breeding and wintering habitat, as well as during migration. The loss of these wetlands is thought to be the main threat to all rail species. However, due to their elusive habits, rails are not well studied and their population status is unknown in most regions. Recent concerns about population declines have resulted in increased rail research in an effort to answer questions essential to habitat management and rail conservation. This research has led researchers and land managers to develop new methods for monitoring and capturing rails and resulted in a better understanding of rail habitat use, migration patterns, and productivity and density. Current rail research aims to better understand population declines and ultimately improve land management practices to provide breeding, wintering, and migratory habitat for rails.

Presenter Dr. Marie Perkins works as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University where she aims to improve methods for using birds as indicators of contaminants in the environment. She developed a passion for the outdoors and wildlife while running around Michigan’s jack pine forests as a child. It was a summer internship at Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that instilled in her a love for birds and wetlands. Marie completed her undergraduate degree in biology at Central Michigan University. After spending several years catching birds around the country, she went on to earn a master’s degree in wildlife from Louisiana State University. Marie’s thesis work at LSU focused on wetland ecology and wetland birds, specifically rails, a group of secretive marsh birds. Marie recently completed her Ph.D. at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. For her dissertation research, Marie moved away from the field and into the laboratory, where she analyzed the blood and feathers of Arctic-breeding shorebirds for mercury.


Meeting Location

Clicking on the above photo will open a new tab with a Google map of Roselle Park. You can zoom in or out of the map. Click on the directions link (left area of map) and you will be able to type your starting location and Google will provide turn-by-turn directions from your location to Roselle Park.