Don Polunci caught this Virginia rail momma escorting her chick across the road. Good thing he was quick, they do not usually stay in the open very long. Virginia rail are one of the few birds whose leg muscle mass exceeds that of its flying muscles. The youngsters begin life with extra long legs but grow into them a bit as they mature.
Virginia rails are generally a marsh bird but can sometimes be found in more open grasslands adjacent to water sources. They have interesting nesting habits — the female makes as many as nine or 10 nests but lays eggs in only one as a way of confusing predators. Rails have been spotted along the Hudson River and near Dead Creek in the Washington County Grasslands.
Contact Bob Henke with your sightings or questions by mail c/o The Post-Star, in The Post-Star’s on-line comments feature, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at @BobHenke or on Facebook.
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