Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) predation on crayfish (Orconectes sp.) in a Lake Huron coastal wetland

TitleVirginia Rail (Rallus limicola) predation on crayfish (Orconectes sp.) in a Lake Huron coastal wetland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsDietsch TV, Cuthbert FJean
JournalMichigan Birds and Natural History
Volume4
Issue5
Pagination196-198
KeywordsRALLUS
Abstract

The Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) is known to consume a wide range of prey including insects, snails, mollusks, and crustaceans. However, these reports come primarily from gizzard analysis and a captive bird study; little is known about the foraging behavior of this reclusive species in the wild. On 16 July 1997 the Biology of Birds class from UMBS watched a Virginia Rail as it captured and consumed a large crayfish (Orconectes sp.). The purpose of this note is to describe this rare observation.