Virginia Rail Identification

The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    The Virginia Rail is a chickenlike marsh bird with a long, heavy bill and a short, upturned tail. Head on, the Virginia Rail looks thin, but from the side they look rather full-bodied; what biologists call a laterally compressed body.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Sora, smaller than an American Coot.

    Relative Sizebetween robin and crowbetween robin and crow
    Measurements
    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 7.9-10.6 in (20-27 cm)
      • Weight: 2.3-3.4 oz (65-95 g)
      • Wingspan: 12.6-15.0 in (32-38 cm)