For Reporting Western Chorus Frog, Least Bittern, King Rail, and Yellow Rail Locations and Activity

Bird Studies Canada - Ontario Region is initiating a 3 year project on the Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata), Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), King Rail (Rallus elegans), and Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis). The goal is to increase our knowledge and understanding of the distribution and habitats of these rare species.

Please submit reports on locations of these species using this dataform. You will need to complete a separate form for each location.

Western Chorus Frogs are the earliest breeding frog in Ontario, breeding as early as March. Ideally the best time to hear Western Chorus Frogs is during the first few warm days of early spring, when temperatures rise just above 5° Celsius and often when there is still plenty of snow on the ground and even some ice on the water.

Don't expect to actually see Western Chorus Frogs as you are much more likely to hear them especially in wet areas containing or edged by trees or shrubs. They are especially fond of shallow fishless wetlands with vegetation, such as flooded pastures or ditches. Their call is similar to running your thumb nail over the fingers of a plastic comb, but it can sound extremely similar to a trilling call given by Spring Peepers, which is more musical and whistled in quality, so please be as careful as possible to ensure you are identifying the calls you hear correctly. You can visit this link to hear their calls

You can also watch a video clip at: Or, for more information visit Ontario's Reptile and Amphibian Atlas at

Least Bitterns, King Rails, and Yellow Rails return to their breeding territories in May. The best time to observe them is early in the morning or in the evening, when it is calm. Like Western Chorus Frogs, don’t expect to actually see these extremely secretive species. You are much more likely to hear them calling as they interact with their mates or defend their territories within dense wetland vegetation. Least Bitterns and King Rails prefer cattail-dominated marshes, whereas Yellow Rails prefer grass or sedge-dominated wetlands or flooded meadows, including flooded pastures. For more information on Least Bittern, King Rail, and Yellow Rail, especially how to identify their calls, visit

If you have any questions or Comments please contact Kathy Jones the Ontario Volunteer Coordinator at or 1-888-448-2473 ext. 124.

The Ontario Chorus Frog and Marsh Bird Species at Risk Project shares its data with the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Project and Ontario’s Natural Heritage Information Centre.

This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please note If you can't "Get out of the Form" most likely you are missing a required answer, just scroll back through the form and look for exclamation marks "!" and red text.

* 1. Please provide your name, email address or a phone number so that we can contact you if we have any questions or need additional details (required).

* 2. Additional contact information (optional): Please provide your BSC ID number (e.g., membership number or participant ID number from other volunteer surveys) if you know it. If you don't remember your number or have not participated in BSC programs previously, please provide additional contact details.


* 3. Site Name: Provide a site name for this location.

LOCATION COORDINATES: We need to be able to pinpoint the locations of your observations as accurately as possible. If you can, please provide the coordinates of the location where you heard or saw Western Chorus Frog, Least Bittern, King Rail, or Yellow Rail.

Need to Find Coordinates? Click here to open Google Maps in a new tab; find the location you where at, right click and choose "What's here?". Then you just copy the information in the left hand pop up and paste it into this page. If you need to convert your coordinates from UTMs try

* 5. Latitude and Longitude

* 6. How did you determine these coordinates?

* 7. Description of location: Please provide the street address or the road name and direction to the nearest town (e.g. 429 Beaverpond Road, Haliburton; or Loon Lake Road 15.2 km east of junction with Highway 28). If coordinates are not available, provide sufficient details so we can find the approximate location on a map.


* 8. What species are you reporting?

* 9. Observation date:

Day, Month, Year

* 10. When did you see or hear the species?

* 11. If you heard Western Chorus Frog, what was the level of intensity of the calling? Please estimate the Calling Code for the largest/most intense Chorus that you heard at the location. If this report is NOT for Western Chorus Frog, skip to the next question.

* 12. How close was the nearest individual of the species to the location coordinates you provided above?

* 13. What habitat(s) was the species in? Please select all habitats within 100m of the individual or individuals that you heard or saw.

* 14. Have you heard or seen the species at this location in other years?

* 15. Additional comments:

Thank you for reporting your observations to the Ontario Chorus Frog and Marsh Bird Species at Risk Project . .

Your data will be used to assist with the recovery of these threatened and endangered species..

If you have any questions, concerns or need more information you can reach Kathy Jones at 888-448-2473 ext. 124 or

Please answer the final question and hit the Done button to submit your data.

* 16. From time to time, Bird Studies Canada may send you information regarding our programs, special issues, membership and other correspondence.

To review Bird Studies Canada's online privacy policy and to learn more about BSC's work and how you can support our programs (through volunteering or donations) visit: