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Virginia Rail Photos

Photography by Terry Sohl

My Favorite: Virginia Rails have such a reputation as "skulkers", ghosts of the marsh that are rarely seen. In many ways that's true, as they rarely flush and fly, preferring to run away when disturbed or faced with danger. They are also generally avoid open areas, so it's also pretty darn rare to happen across a Virginia Rail foraging out in the open. However, I've found that 1) they are VERY common in South Dakota, and can be found in most areas of extensive cattail marsh, and 2) sightings are quite possible, given patience. There are so many gravel roads running through the middle of wetlands in South Dakota...my strategy for these guys is to simple pull along side a wetland in my car, open the window, turn off the car, and wait. It doesn't take that long before they forget about you, and start foraging normally in the vegetation.  The photo of the one below was momentarily "caught" in the open, when it noticed the dude with the camera. A quick glance towards a flash of movement from the car, and it scampered back into the cattails.  That moment though was enough for me to capture a nearly unobstructed view of a Virginia Rail, always a nice treat.

Virginia Rail - Rallus limnicola

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola

Virginia Rail 1

July 4th, 2006

Near Tea, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 2

July 4th, 2006

Near Tea, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 3

July 4th, 2006

Near Tea, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 4

July 4th, 2006

Near Tea, South Dakota

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola

Virginia Rail 5

May 27th, 2007

Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 6

May 27th, 2007

Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 7

May 27th, 2007

Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 8

May 2nd, 2010

Lake County, South Dakota

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola 

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola 

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola

Virginia Rail - Rallus limicola

Virginia Rail 9

May 2nd, 2010

Lake County, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 10

May 3rd, 2015

Kingsbury County, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 11

May 6th, 2017

Lincoln County, South Dakota

Virginia Rail 12

May 6th, 2017

Lincoln County, South Dakota

 

 Click here for the species description page for the Virginia Rail

 


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