Capturing sufficient numbers of marsh birds for telemetry studies is difficult due to the secretive nature and inaccessible habitat of the birds. We experimented with thermal imaging technology to locate clapper rails and subsequently capture them from an airboat in South Carolina tidal marshes. This method produced a capture rate of up to 19.2 rails/hr, which exceeded other capture rates in the literature. We believe this technique will improve capture efficiency for clapper rails, and potentially other secretive marsh birds, enhancing opportunities for studying these important species.
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Vol. 75 • No. 5