Last year I had the pleasure of photographing this nonbreeding Sora in the Centennial Valley of Montana. I normally hear Soras before I spot them but in this case the Sora was out in the open when I spotted it foraging next to some cattails in a farm pond.
Soras are from the family of birds which includes coots, rails, gallinules, limpkins and cranes and while the larger species are easy to see the rails and soras are not. They can be found in marshes, the edges of ponds, lakes and in shallow wetlands with emergent vegetation and because of their cryptic plumage patterns they blend into their habitat very well.
To say I was pleased with seeing this Sora out in the open feeding on aquatic vegetation might be an understatement. I was very excited to see and photograph it because I have very few images of this skulking species.
I hear Soras quite often during the breeding season at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and Farmington Bay WMA but I have only gotten very briefs views of them. I am including a long sound track of a Sora calling “per-wheep” and “whiny”. There are other sounds of frogs and birds in the track too. Although I love hearing the per-wheep it is the whinny that I love to hear the most.
Life is good. Life is better with birds.