Monday, September 13, 2021

Ridgway's Rail

Ridgway's rail is found primarily along the Pacific coast from San Francisco Bay to southern Baja California. It has a slightly downward curved bill, is grayish brown above with dark streaking down the back, has pale barring on the flanks with a pale chestnut breast and neck, and a short white tail.  
It is usually concealed in marsh vegetation, but occasionally seen in open wetlands with its tail up and head pushing forward. 

It forages for mussels, clams, snails, worms and small fish on mud flats or very shallow water where there are taller plants nearby to provide cover. 

We visited the San Elijo Lagoon in Cardiff, California several times over last weekend and they had several signs talking about this area which was a breeding ground for this near threatened species. It was only when I left the water ways where most of the birds were and walked along the bare mud surrounded by vegetation that I saw one going in and out of the vegetation. I waited it out and ended up getting some good photos. 


  1. Interesting walking style. It's hard to get a sense of the size. What would you compare it to?

  2. It has been compared to a chicken.