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Gizzards of 934 sora rails (Porzana carolina) collected in Maryland (767) and Missouri (167) were examined for ingested shot. Ingested shot were found in 12.3 percent of the Maryland sample and 1.8 percent of the Missouri birds. Individual Maryland birds had ingested up to 28 pellets. None of the lead pellets examined was larger than a No. 7½ shot. Maryland ingestion rates did not differ by age or sex, but significant differences between collection areas, groups of years, and collection periods within years were indicated. This exploratory work points out a potential lead poisoning problem among sora rails.
The Journal of Wildlife Management © 1975 Wiley