Virginia Rail

General description.

This bird also has a black and white striped rump and long bill. Formerly called "Marsh Hen", the Virginia Rail is a very elusive creature that would rather sneak through reeds than fly. If it needs to, however, the rail will jump into the air, fly feebly for a few feet, legs dangling ungracefully, then drop down into the grass. It is a better swimmer than flier, and can do so underwater. The Virginia Rail inhabits fresh and salt water marsh.

Flight pattern.


Breeding habits.

Breeds from British Columbia to the Maritime Provinces and south to southern California, Oklahoma and Virginia. In spite of its poor flight ability, the Virginia Rail migrates long distances, as far as Bermuda and Greenland.

Calls or song.

Along with grunting noises, the rail seems to be calling, "Ticket-ticket-ticket-ticket".

Population and distribution.

The Virginia Rail frequents fresh and brackish water marshes in summer and salt water habitations in the winter on both coasts, north to Washington and Virginia, sometimes even further.

Nesting habits.

This rail lays 5-12 pale buff eggs, spotted brown, in a shallow, loosely constructed saucer, woven with marsh vegetation.
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