Virginia Rail, Rallus limicola
The Virginia Rail resembles the much larger Ridgway's and Clapper Rails in plumage. The resemblance is most pronounced with the Ridgway's, of California, which can have orange-brown underparts and breast; the Clapper, found along the East and Gulf Coasts, has less red and tends toward gray-brown in these areas. Along with size, the Virginia's dark gray cheek is a good mark distinguishing it from both of the larger rail species.
A juvenile, most easily identified as such by a brown rather than red iris. The almost all-black bill is also characteristic of juveniles, where adults have a mostly red lower mandible; however some first-cycle birds have considerable red there as well. Also notable are the whitish area extending up between the eyes from the base of the bill, the partial white eye ring, and the absence of the adult's clearly marked white stripes on the black flanks.