Bird: Virginia Rail (Rallus limicila)

Length: 9.5"

Description: A small rail, similar in appearance to the King and Clapper rail but about half the size. Rich chestnut on wings, and chestnut mottled with dark brown on back. Amber eyes, and legs and bill that are redder than King and Clapper. Bill slightly down curved. Face, cheeks gray. Prefers freshwater or brackish marshes to saltwater.

Voice: A series of high pitched, metallic hid hid riddick chirps, also chit chit. Audio is available at

Virginia Rail 2
Al Liberman

Feeding: Feeds in the mud under heavy cover of reeds and aquatic plants. Finds food by probing in the mud with its beak. Eats insects and small animals.

Behavior at Wakodahatchee: The Virginia Rail is one of the most, if not the most, elusive bird at Wakodahatchee. Al Liberman preformed a minor miracle by capturing these photographs. The best time to find them is early in the morning during the winter. The Virginia Rail is migratory, and is only present during the winter. Search around the edges of the Bulrush stands, and in thick Fireflag near open mudflats (especially around 13). The Virginia Rails are often heard before they are seen... Listen primarily for a "chit...chit chit" call that they make to announce or defend territory.

Virginia Rail 1
Al Liberman

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