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A New Species is our Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, Ridgeway's Rail Chick

Jul 13, 2017 01:09AM ● Published by Paul Spear

Gallery: A New Species is our Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, Ridgeway's Rail Chick [12 Images] Click any image to expand.

A New Species is our Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, Bryan Brillhart Photography present the “Dig IB” Bird of the Week, the Ridgeway's Rail Chick

This week’s “Bird of the Week” is the Ridgeway’s Rail Chick. A close relative of the Clapper Rail 

of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, they were considered part of the same species until recently. Ridgeway’s Rails have a patchy distribution in salt marshes of the Pacific Coast, as well as inland around the salty waters of the Salton Sea. Unlike the Clapper Rail, it also lives in freshwater marshes, along the lower Colorado River and its tributaries.

Most populations should be considered threatened or endangered because of extremely limited habitat. Habitats are in salt marshes along the coast, and also in brackish and freshwater marshes inland. Along the Pacific Coast, they are strictly a bird of salt marshes, and sometimes in adjacent brackish marshes. The "Yuma" Clapper Rail inhabits freshwater marshes along the lower Colorado River and nearby areas.

Ridgeway’s Rail’s feed by walking in shallow water or on mud, especially on falling tides or at low tide, picking up items from the ground or vegetation, sometimes probing in mud or water.

Diet includes crustaceans, insects, and fish. Diet varies with locality, and includes a wide variety of small prey. Crustaceans are often favored, especially crabs, and crayfish. They also eat many aquatic insects, small fish, mollusks, worms, and frogs. They also eat seeds at times.

After mating, females lay 7-11, sometimes 5-12 or more, pale yellow to olive-buff, blotched with brown and gray eggs. Incubation is by both sexes in about 23-29 days.

Courtship displays are not well known. Males may feed females. Nest sites are in a clump of grass or other vegetation in marshes, near the upper reaches of high tides, or on river banks near water. Nests (built mostly by males) are a well-built cup of grasses and sedges, lined with finer material, often with vegetation woven into a canopy over the nest. Often a ramp of plant material leads from ground up to nest.

Downy young may leave their nests soon after hatching. Both parents probably feed their young. Parents may brood young in a separate nests from the one in which the eggs hatched. Young can fly in about 9-10 weeks.

Ridgeway’s Rail Chicks are now fledglings in our own Tijuana Estuary. You can spot them alone or with their parents along the river banks there while biking or walking on the many paths there. Until next week, good birding                                                    

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If you would like to see more of Bryan's Bird Photos you can click on this link:

Bryan Brillhart Photography or Bird of the Week

Bryan Brillhart

 

Note: If you would like to make sure you don't miss stories like this or any other news about the community of Imperial Beach and South County, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Please note that every subscriber of our newsletter receives a Community Calendar of Events at the 1st of every month. Click here to: Subscribe


 


Note: If you would like to make sure you don't miss stories like this or any other news about the community of Imperial Beach and South County, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter. Please note that every subscriber of our newsletter receives a Community Calendar of Events at the 1st of every month. Click here to: Subscribe

If you would like to get July’s Calendar now instead of waiting for the next newsletter, email me you name and I will send it now and sign you up for future IB Community Calendars.           

Paul Spear, Editor of Dig Imperial Beach   

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