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This is one of the Rails found in the Bay Area. A elusive bird, it hides out most of it's time in the vegetation in marshes. In this park they sometimes can be spotted early in the morning or at dusk. A smaller of the rails it can sometimes be mistaken for a Clapper Rail which is bigger. The Virginia Rail has compact body with grey cheeks, long reddish curved bill, short tail and distinctive markings along the flanks. The back is reddish brown with streaks. Here in this park the rails are favorite food to many birds of prey in particular the Northern Harrier.
Marshes with reeds.
Spotted about 5 at the edge of the reeds. Last image this one was following the slough just below my feet.
Spotted on Sep 19, 2013
Submitted on Sep 25, 2013