feathers, plucking, preening, Rallus limicola, VIRA, Virginia Rail, wetland, Wyoming
I have been having a ball following and photographing a family of Virginia Rails this summer. Virginia Rails are small, marsh birds that are not often seen as they are secretive in nature. These birds live in wetlands, moving around the base of cattails and sedges, not a place too many people enjoy in the buggy, summer months. I was photographing this particular rail as it preened. I watched it pull a primary feather from it’s wing and drop it on the water. I was ready as it started to work on the second wing, sure enough, it grabbed onto a primary, plucked it from it’s wing, and dropped it neatly onto the other feather. Here is the series of photos.