- 7.9–10.6 in
- 12.6–15 in
- 2.3–3.4 oz
- Râle de Virginie (French)
- Rascón de agua (Spanish)
- The forehead feathers of the Virginia Rail are adapted to withstand wear from pushing through dense marsh vegetation.
- The Virginia Rail can swim under water, propelling itself with its wings. It swims in this way probably only to flee predators.
- The Virginia Rail and other rail species have the highest ratio of leg muscles to flight muscles of any birds.
- The Virginia Rail builds numerous "dummy nests" in addition to the one where eggs are actually laid.
Freshwater marshes; occasionally inhabits salt marshes. Lives in dense emergent vegetation.
Insects, insect larvae, other aquatic invertebrates, fish, frogs, and small snakes.
- Clutch Size
- 4–13 eggs
- Egg Description
- White or buff with sparse irregular gray or brown spotting.
- Condition at Hatching
- Covered with black down, leave nest within one day. Fed by parents.
Basket of loosely woven vegetation, often with a canopy, usually placed above shallow water.
Probes water and mud with bill.
Declining in some areas, but not protected by special designations or measures. Information on population trends is sparse.
- Conway, C. J. 1995. Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola). In The Birds of North America, No. 173 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.