VIRGINIA RAIL

This secretive species is found breeding in large marshes in Essex County.  Best bets are Point Pelee National Park, Hillman Marsh Conservation Area and Holiday Beach Conservation Area.  Mostly nocturnal, this species starts calling at dusk and sounds like two rocks being knocked together.

A secretive bird of freshwater marshes, the Virginia Rail most often remains hidden in dense vegetation. It possesses many adaptations for moving through its habitat, including a laterally compressed body, long toes, and flexible vertebrae.

Adult Description
Small, chicken-like marsh bird.
Compact body.
Short tail.
Strong legs.
Rufous throat and breast.
Gray cheeks.
Long, slightly curved red bill.

Immature Description
Downy chick black. Juvenile dull blackish brown on upper parts, with some rufous feather edges. Under parts densely marked with dark brown or blackish, face grayish brown, bill and legs dusky brownish.

*Image and description were sourced from: allaboutbirds.org


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