Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail

The Virginia Rail, Rallus limicola, is a small waterbird, of the family Rallidae.


Adults are mainly brown, darker on the back and crown, with orange-brown legs. They have long toes, a short tail and a long slim reddish bill. Their cheeks are grey, with a light stripe over the eye and a whitish throat.

Distribution / Habitat:

Their breeding habitat is marshes from Nova Scotia to California and North Carolina, also in Central America and South America. The female lays 5 to 13 eggs in a platform built from cattails and other plants in a dry location in the marsh. Both parents care for the young, who are able to fly in less than a month.

Northern populations migrate to the southern United States and Central America. On the Pacific coast, some are permanent residents.

Virginia Rail - ImmatureDiet / Feeding:

These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects and aquatic animals.

Call / Song:

This bird have a number of calls, including a harsh kuk kuk kuk, usually heard at night.


These birds remain fairly common despite continuing loss of habitat, but are secretive by nature and more often heard than seen.

Copyright: Wikipedia. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from ... Additional information and photos added by Avianweb.

Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.

The Avianweb strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!