On September 2, 2011 one of IEUA’s avid bird watchers, John Mellin saw a Virginia Rail in the late afternoon from the covered bridge looking south at the cattail island. This was a life bird for him!! That same day he saw a Green Heron. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/
A secretive bird of freshwater marshes, the Virginia Rail most often remains hidden in dense vegetation. It possesses many adaptations for moving through its habitat, including a laterally compressed body, long toes, and flexible vertebrae.
- 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.
- Green Heron
A small, stocky wading bird, the Green Heron is common in wet spots across much of North America. It can be difficult to see as it stands
motionless waiting for small fish to approach within striking range, but it frequently announces its presence by its loud squawking.
- The Green Heron is one of the few tool-using birds. It commonly drops bait onto the surface of the water and grabs the small fish that are attracted. It uses a variety of baits and lures, including crusts of bread, insects, earthworms, twigs, or feathers.
- The Green Heron is part of a complex of small herons that sometimes are considered one species. When lumped, they are called Green-backed Heron. When split, they are the Green Heron, the widespread Striated Heron, and the Galapagos Heron.
- As is typical for many herons, the Green Heron tends to wander after the breeding season is over. Most wanderers probably seek more favorable foraging areas and do not travel far, but occasionally some travel greater distances, with individuals turning up as far as England and France.