In the third week of Birds of the Bow Valley, Michael W. Potter looks at the Virginia rail – a colourful bird seen here at the Basin Marsh in Banff National Park.
This often elusive species is even found there in winter, thanks to the warm water associated with hot springs. Some of the rails family of birds have a laterally compressed body plan – they are “thin as a rail” – which facilitates movement through typical habitat such as reedbeds.
Michael W. (Mike) Potter is a professional photographer specializing in birds. He is a former park interpreter in Banff National Park, and the author and photographer of eight books on hiking and natural history in the Canadian Rockies, distributed by Canmore-based Alpine Book Peddlers. Potter’s website is michaelwpotter.ca, which includes a link to his bird photographs on Flickr.