King Rail

Summers on Pocosin Lakes NWR are so different from year to year. Heck each day is so different than the day before. While waiting for a bear to enter an area, that I had seen a couple days before, I heard a call. A series of clacks & clicks. I immediately knew it was a rail and after waiting a few minutes a beautiful King Rail stepped out onto the road. She looked at me for a few moments and jumped back into the grass. Moments later she reappeared in the road, also, a little bit closer. After deciding that I wasn't much of a threat she allowed her six chicks into the road with her. I photographed them for about 10 minutes before they crossed the road and entered the flooded impoundement.

Not typically seen but frequently heard. King Rails are the largest rail in North American and live in freshwater/brackish marshes. Eating mostly small crayfish, insects and small fish. King Rails will have 6-14 eggs, with the chicks leaving the nest one day after all have hatched.  According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, their numbers are dwindling. With estimations of more than 90% decline since 1966. They are currently listed as "Near Threatened" according to http://www.iucnredlist.org. 








The more I visit the Pocosin Lakes NWR, the more I fall in love with it. You never know what you will come across while there. Until next time,

Cheers,

Neil.