• Incubation: 18-20 days
• Clutch Size: 6-13 eggs
• Young Fledge: 25 days after hatching
• Typical Foods: insects, fish, aquatic invertebrates, and seeds
• Ohio Status: Species of Concern
Virginia rails have rusty colored underparts, barred flanks, and gray cheeks. The bill is long, reddish, and slightly downcurved.
Habitat and Habits
This rail, like the sora, is far more common than is generally thought, but very secretive and not likely to be seen. Preferred habitat includes densely vegetated marshes and occasionally button swamps or other wetlands. Like many marsh-dwelling birds, Virginia rails are best detected by knowing their vocalizations. An often heard call is a rapid, metallic kid-ik, kid-ik, kid-ik; sometimes they give a distinctive descending grunt.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Both the male and female build the nest in a marsh, complete with a canopy of bent vegetation. "Dummy nests" may also be built in the territory. Both parents incubate the eggs. The young are precocial.