Saturday, May 15, 2010
Belize Bird of the Week - Rufous-Necked Wood Rail (Aramides axillaris)
I was taking pictures along the edge of the marsh on the north end of our property when I saw a movement back in the shadows of the marsh. What could that be? It is sort of reddish and skinny. Could it be a possum? No, it doesn’t move like a possum. Is it a snake? No, not long enough and too high off the fallen tree trunk. It’s a bird! Creeping, tip-toeing really, along a downed tree I can see a bird emerging from the gloom of marsh.
But this bird has lovely subtle blues and greens along with the cinnamon. It is really first-rate! This is a Rufous-Necked Wood Rail.
These rails are very secretive and usually are more active at dusk than during the day.
They are described as “Apparently rare (but doubtless in part only overlooked) in mangrove swamps …seemingly very local and recorded from only 3 localities…” It seems we are hosting a rarely seen, if not rare, bird.