SE Colorado Birding

Birding and discussion: A conservation-oriented birding blog that emphasizes low-impact birding and sustainable birding practices together with the enjoyment of birds. Southeast Colorado offers a diversity of habitats which provide premiere birding opportunities. Save Sabal Palm

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Virginia Rail HATCHLINGS including a pic

I was back doing surveys for the Colo Breeding Bird Atlas-II at the wetlands at the site on which I have posted pics of Virginia Rails below. I have had glimpses of what have looked like older (blackish but almost as large as adults) Virginia Rails before. Today I saw at least 2 very young hatchlings, one of which is shown in this pic.

I first saw 1 very young hatchling run between the cattails a few times. Later I saw a very young hatchling following an adult Virginia Rail, who then stopped and fed it. Then another adult Virginia Rail came from the other side and appeared to call a very young hatchling out and proceeded to feed it. This was all too cool as these hatchlings stayed mostly in the vegetation.

As can be seen in the pic, the hatchling is covered in black down, which is it's natal (birth)plumage. Though not shown on the photos (looks almost gray in the photos) I took, the bill on these hatchlings looked whitish. From what I can discern from Birds of North America (BNA) online and several other references, these hatchlings are probably more than 3-4 days old but less than 3-4 weeks old.

Virginia Rails are "precocial", meaning that they are capable of moving around on their own soon after hatching. From what I've read, they do "run down the nest ramp" by the end of their first day after hatching (per BNA). Apparently both parents feed the hatchlings for about a month.

Labels: ,

Save trees in the Boreal forest for birds, not for paper--Opt out of catalogues

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by

  • Blogarama - The Blog Directory