Fairly small rail; short yellow bill, black face, and gray neck distinctive. Found in marshes with grasses or reeds; generally shy but often seen foraging at the edge of shallow water. Buffy juvenile often mistaken for much more secretive Yellow Rail; note different back pattern and the fact that if you see the bird well enough to actually note the back pattern, it is probably not a Yellow Rail. Common call is a descending high-pitched whinny; also gives a whistled "per-WEE" call somewhat like spring peeper but clearer and consistently two parted.
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