Virginia Rail

photo by Phil Swanson

Rallus limicola
L 9 1/2″(24 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Loud descending “kid kid kidick kidick” grunting noise.

Description: Sexes similar. Gray face, white throat, long bill, cinnamon breast, and black and white barring on belly. Back is cinnamon colored with black mottling. Juvenile is black-brown above, with black or gray mottling below.

Behavior: Often briefly seen foraging at dawn or dusk.

Bird Map

Habitat: Marshes with extensive emergent vegetation. Nests are in water among vegetation.

Where in Nebraska: Uncommon spring and fall migrant. Regular breeding resident across the state but, less common in Panhandle of Nebraska.

Fun Facts: A group of Virginia Rails is called a “reel” of rails.

Virginia Rail - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)