Range. - Temperate North America, breeding from the southern parts of the British possessions, south to the Gulf coast.
This abundant species of Rail may be readily known by its small size, about eight inches long, and the black face and throat of the adult. These are the "Rail-birds" or "Ortolans" which are annually slaughtered by thousands, for sport and marketing, during their fall migration. It is only because of the large families that they rear, that they are able to withstand this yearly decimanation of their ranks. They nest either in salt of fresh water marshes, making a rude structure of grass, weeds and strips of rushes, on the ground, generally concealed in a tuft of ghass in a tangled swamp or marsh. During May, they lay from six to sixteen eggs of a bright, buffy gray color, spotted with reddish brown and lavender. Size 1.25 x.90.
Sora. Virginia Rail.