Life seemed to be so much simpler when I didn’t know about Wood-Rails. Specifically, our resident species of Grey-cowled Wood-Rail. I wrote previously on the split that occurred within the Grey-necked Wood-Rail species – into Grey-cowled and Russet-naped Wood-Rail, both species differing in vocalization and plumage to a certain degree.
Trouble is, there are multiple official bodies that are involved in the naming of birds – and they still haven’t come to a definite agreement it seems.
So although some purists (like myself) enjoy using the name “Grey-cowled Wood-Rail”; if you refer to this gorgeous bird as a “Grey-necked Wood-Rail” – no-one’s gonna be mad at you.
Cowled or necked, nobody has the time to argue semantics when there’s one of these birds just around the corner, oblivious to human presence. I just happened to catch a glimpse of this particular bird preening behind a tree trunk – and with it so engrossed in its own activity – it failed to notice the advancing photographer. I inched forward and laid low, aiming for the clearing between the tree and the dense brush I knew this secretive species would dart into if I breathed too heavily.
Once I framed my shot where I figured the bird would pass, I waited. It eventually craned its neck around the tree trunk and gave me a good eye. As I was already on the ground, making myself small – it didn’t perceive me as a threat and I was able to comfortably make this image in the delicate light, before it very casually wandered off into the bushes. Another good day at the office, they say.