Saturday, April 28, 2012


Erika and I also saw a single Sora in the marsh near the Virginia Rail along the Old Highway 77 Bridge at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. A quick look at the bills of these two rails suggests that they partition their feeding habitats. Obviously the Virgina Rail's long bill (see last blog post) is more efficient at probing deep into the mud, while the Sora is probably restricted to shallower prey. Both rails feed on invertebrates and plant seeds.

This Sora photo was taken in South Dakota. The bird we saw on Tuesday was barely visible. Despite the difficulty in seeing a Sora, the species is abundant in North American marshes. Even if hard to see, their loud whinnies are often heard (link curtesy Thayer Birding Software). Despite their being a game bird in many states, the main threat to Soras is wetland destruction. The etimology of the word Sora is unknown but presumed to be derived from a Native American language (Words for Birds: a Lexicon of North American Birds).

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