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

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yet another Virginia Rail hatchling pic

I stopped at the wetland this morning to see if I could get a better pic of the Sora hatchlings. Not a chance as I didn't even get a glimpse of them today. In fact, I gave up after one of adults wouldn't stop calling. Though I have been successful in making myself unobtrusive to the Virginia Rails and previously to the Soras, apparently this Sora was having none of it unless I moved so far from the wetland that I couldn't look for the hatchlings.Though the calls appeared to be the "peep" call that is used to maintain contact between a pair of Soras, I didn't want to take any chances that I was disturbing them especially after I read that a parent continues brooding them. The hatchlings may be sensitive to the temperature and today is predicted to be around 100 so I believe it would be most unethical to keep the parent from protecting them or from possibly still incubating unhatched eggs.

So I went to the other side of the wetlands where I have been watching the Virginia Rail and got this pic of a hatchling. This pic shows off how the dark band on the bill expand, eventually causing the entire bill to turn black. I did notice that there is some variance among the hatchlings on this progression with some showing less extensiveness of this black band.

I was delighted to watch a parent feeding with 2 hatchlings following closely (I did see 2 others slinking in the thicker vegetation and following at a more removed distance). The adult would jab with it's bill into the vegetation and the 2 hatchlings would quickly jab there also. Clearly the adult demonstrates how and what to forage for during these forays. I also heard some soft hatchling calls for the first time.

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