Weekend Birding: Sora Rail
Last week I had the opportunity to go on a birding field trip to a nearby State Park followed by brunch and some bird conversation. This was a small, experienced group of birders so I was hoping to see birds I don’t usually find on my solitary walks.
One of the tricks to locating birds in the field is to know their call. I still need work in that area but the people I was with were able to identify elusive birds by their sound. One of those birds was the Sora Rail, a water bird found in freshwater marshes. It likes to hide among the cattails, making it very difficult to observe or photograph.
We were standing on a bridge over the wetlands when we heard the Sora’s distinctive call. Everyone ran to the railing trying to locate the bird. Suddenly it poked it’s head out of the grass and one of the group spotted it, but the bird soon moved back into the cattails.
Eventually the Sora came out into the open again for a few minutes. Most of us threw caution to the wind and climbed the fence along the bridge to get a good look and take a few photos. I should have taken a some pictures of everyone climbing the fence because it was quite a site to see, but in my excitement over finding an elusive bird, I stayed up on the fence watching the Sora and shooting pictures as long as possible.
There must have been a tasty morsel of food in that green water to entice him out for a minute or so allowing me to get a great shot.
The Sora can be found across most of North America in the summer and they migrate to the southern US and Mexico in the winter. They are a common bird, but live and breed in shallow wetlands with lots of emergent vegetation. Their greatest threat is the destruction of the freshwater marshes and are rarely seen in populated areas.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.
© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.