Friday, October 15, 2004

Virginia Rails in odd locations

Continuing with a theme of unusual fall bird behavior I received the following story from a friend the other day:

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Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 7:25 PM
From: Gerald Layton

Fellow birders,

While working out at a gym on 5th Avenue and Union Street someone yells, "Hey, there is a bird in the gym." I rush over and the manager says, "Jerry can you catch this bird?" Yeah, sure I'll give it a try. It's jumping up and flying into the large mirrors that line the wall...of course knocking itself silly after several attemps. Approaching the bird and seeing only a portion of its body because it was obscured by the machinary I said, "Oh, it's a starling." Wrong! A closer looks...whaaaat...oh my god, holy sh*t! It's a VIRGINIA RAIL! It flies out onto 5th Avenue, I chase it one block; it flew several blocks toward Flatbush Avenue and I gave up. What's the deal with Virginia Rails and entering stores, hallways and groundfloor entrance ways? This is the third time I've heard of this behavior in our area. Anyone have any theories? You never know what or where a migrant is going to show up. Check your bathrooms.

Jerry


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This was not the first time that I've heard about Virginia Rails showing up in odd places. Last year a local birder was dropping off his dry cleaning when he found a rail in a laundry basket inside the store. He captured the bird in a shirt, carried it a few blocks to Prospect Park and released it. A few years earlier a woman walking down Flatbush Avenue near Marine Park spotted one walking into a photography store. Then there was this story about the uninvited guest at a wedding in Prospect Park:

-click here then scroll down to see a feathered party crasher-

-click here to learn more about Virginia Rails-

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