Interaction between Virginia Rail and Black Rail

Published in 2001

On 14 October 2000, just after first light, a Black Rail was observed in a marsh near the Dauphin Island airport by Russell Bailey, Alice Christensen, Charles Duncan, Dana Hamilton, Stan Hamilton, Ralph Havard, John O’Neill, Dick Reynolds, Harriet Wright and me. A short time later, just before 0700 hr, plaintive, rapid peeping alerted the group to a Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) which had a flailing Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) in its bill. The Black Rail was identified by its small size, primary black coloration and fully-feathered wings, eliminating the slim possibility of a late chick of some other rail species. The Virginia Rail soon disappeared in the marsh with it’s apparent prey and neither was heard again. There were no subsequent reports of a Black Rail from that marsh on that day.

Author: Larry F. Gardella
Volume Number: 47 Year Published: 2001
Issue Number: 2
Page Number: 52

Link to article: 47 No 2 2001_52-54.pdf
Link to the full issue of BirdLife: 47 No 2 2001.pdf