BY LAUREN WALCK
firstname.lastname@example.orgFebruary 17, 2014
"Bird!" Someone shouted in the distance, signaling about 20 people to start sprinting toward the voice.
That is, as much as one can sprint in the bumpy, grassy and muddy land of the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge.
Headlamps and flashlights bouncing, a group of researchers, refuge workers and volunteer birders were in search of the rare and elusive yellow rail on Monday night.
Kelly Morris, a graduate student at Mississippi State University, is leading a study on the bird, which flies here from Canada in the winters.
The yellow rail is a bird of conservational concern, a national watchlist by the American Bird Conservancy and National Audubon Society. It is also a focal species for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's migratory bird program, which means its conservation is a priority.