Virginia Rail
Rallus limicola
The Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) breeds across a large area of the United States, but it is often quite secretive and difficult to observe. The species winters in Texas, and with patience can sometimes offer an excellent look. My friend Larry Ditto and I spent several days in a photo blind in a marsh in Kenedy Co., Texas during January, 2000 where we knew at least two Virginia Rails were present. Late one afternoon in beautiful evening light one of the rails came out to forage along the edge of the marsh and I was able to get several shots with a Canon EOS 3 & EF 600mm F/4 L lens on Fuji Velvia pushed one stop. The shot on the right won 2nd place in the rails, gallinules, and coots division of the Valley Land Fund 2000 Wildlife Photo Contest.