“The Sneaky and Petite Yellow Rail: A Hidden Gem of North America’s Wetlands and Marshes”

The Yellow rail is an extremely secretive bird that is rarely seen out in the open. Its overall color resembles that of a perfectly toasted marshmallow, with streaks of gold and black crossing intricate white bars on its back pattern. When flushed, a bold white patch can be spotted on the inner flight feathers. The Yellow rail is often mistaken for a juvenile Sora due to their similar appearance, but they can be differentiated by their back pattern and habits. If you happen to spot a rail out in the open, it is highly unlikely to be a Yellow rail. They typically reside in moderately wet marshes and meadows, where they take cover among dense grasses. The Yellow rail is most easily detected at night when it sings a unique song that sounds like two stones being tapped together, alternating sets of two and three notes, that is often confused with cricket frogs.

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