not molting this time
i wish i could say these feathers were from molting rails. sadly, that is not the case. this rail was probably some raptors exquisite and filling dinner. we’ve been using the sound identification of the Merlin app on our phones to recognize the bird calls in our backyard this year (i recommend, by the way). the app is able to pick up about twice as many birds as our trained ears can. among the surprises have been sora rails. we live on water, so wetland rails should be no surprise, we simply had never rarely able to pick up their call among the cacophony of all the others. but Merlin informed us we had rails this summer, or at least one rail. and now we have one fewer rails, and one well fed raptor.