Visit Wild Bird Wednesday for more birds from all around the world.Last week a friend phoned to tell me that she had two Buff-banded Rails running around in her yard - and what was even better! - they had three tiny babies with them! Rails are usually quite shy so it is not usual to have them quite so contented in a back-yard - but then my friend's yard is not usual either!
She loves all the native plants in the National Park just over the road, and going for a walk with her over there is like meeting a lot of her well-known friends. Since her yard has the same soil as just over the road she sees no reason why she shouldn't grow the same plants. There are no lawns in her yard. Every bit of space is filled with plants - from the very tiny to the big straggly banksia trees. It is perfect habitat for all the bush birds and animals - and so very different from the neat suburban yards which surround it!
My bird book says rails are usually found in tangled vegetation and long grass and these ones seemed very much at home in this habitat. I saw both the adults and the babies with one or the other of them.
This is the only photo I managed of one of the adults with the three babies. The babies were about the size of a day old chicken - but with much longer legs.
(It took me a second day, a brighter morning, and a change of camera lens to get the photos I really wanted!)
This young one was staying close to one of the adults while the other two hid in the bushes a few meters away with the other adult. Everything the adult pecked at the little one had a go at also.
The safest place was still under the adult's feathers.