Friday, May 16, 2014

Virginia Rail Chick

Last summer while volunteering at Beaver Creek State Natural Area we became very familiar with Virginia Rails.  We enjoyed walking a trail in the marsh in the evening and listening to their oik-oik-oik sounds. They were easy to hear and identify, but extremely hard to see.  We could be within a few feet of them and even see the grass move but still not see them.  For me, they have been almost impossible to photograph. Yesterday morning while birding at Fairview Wetlands in South Salem I again heard their strange sounds, but could only get a fleeting glance. Then on the far side of a pond I got the chance to see this very young juvenile feeding along the water’s edge.  My conclusion is that being young it hasn’t learned yet about the danger of spending time out in the open.


  1. The Virginia Rail would rather be heard than seen, by a long shot. So, you were very lucky to get a picture of one, even though it was a juvenile unschooled in the need to be unseen. I think that that the American Bittern is way easier to see. Lee

  2. Congratulations on the shot! Interesting looking guy.