Virginia Rail

April 30, 2018

A close-up look at a Virginia rail at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, St. Charles County, Missouri.

I have been working on a story about snipe and rail hunting for a magazine so I was more than pleased to hear from a birder/photographer friend that a group of Virginia rails had stopped over for a migration break at Riverlands. I already had nice images of sora and snipe for the story but no Virginia rail images.

I headed to Riverlands and set up in the tall prairie grass a little before daylight this morning. By the time I had settled in, all of the rails had scurried into the tall grass but it wasn’t long before they came back out and began foraging again in a muddy ditch. By shooting time I was surrounded by the tiny, rusty-colored rails, a few of which only inches from my position, far too close to even photograph. I made the featured image as one of the more intrepid rails approached my hide.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky so my morning’s project only lasted until about 7:45 A.M. By that time, the unfiltered sun was ruining every shot but I was pretty sure that I had what I needed.

A Virginia rail in its typical habitat — cluttered and messy!

Probably my favorite image from the series, as one of the rails waded through the glowing water at sunrise.

A final close look at one of the visiting Virginia rails.

It was nice to be so close to these busy rails as they scurried all around me. They were so tiny! I hated to leave because I knew the movement of the previously unknown lump in the prairie would disturb them. In the end, it wasn’t bad as they ignored me for the most part as I made my way back to the parking lot. It was such a pleasant way to end the month of April. Fun times!

Thanks for looking,


Email me at:  Natureframes@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images and Print Information:

America is beautiful. I vote to keep it that way.


8 comments on “Virginia Rail”

  1. OOOOOooooh! BEAUtiful.

  2. A bird I’ve not seen, or am likely to see in the near future…so very glad to see it up close and personal. Thank you Danny!

  3. Magnificent work Danny.

  4. I’m in STL and I need this bird for my list now, thanks!

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