A light-footed Ridgway's rail hides in the marsh
A wild rail approaches a speaker playing mating calls at San Elijo lagoon. The light-footed Ridgway’s rail is a handsome but secretive waterbird that lives on tidal marshland fragments in southern California from Santa Barbara County south to Baja California, Mexico. A subspecies of Ridgway’s rail, they forage in shallow water and mudflats, taking cover in nearby vegetation when the tide comes in. They nest near the water’s edge in dense stands of cordgrass.