This large rail is very similar to Clapper Rail, but shows minor differences in plumage and inhabits freshwater marshes, not the saltwater habitats preferred by Clapper. The feathers of the upperparts are blackish with broad edges of olive-brown to dark buff, creating a distinctly streaked pattern. The wing coverts are bright rufous. The head shows a dark brown crown and a mixture of brown and gray on the face. The throat is a contrasting white. The breast and upper belly are a deep rusty orange, fading to buffy on the lower belly. The flanks are black with bold white barring. The underside of the uplifted tail is mottled blackish and white. The long bill is dark at the tip, yellow-orange at the base. Juveniles are duller than adults, but still show bright rufous wing coverts.
Length: 38 (cm) Wingspan: 51 (cm)
Calls include a wide variety of kek notes. kek kek kek kek kek kek (about two notes per second) and kek brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Freshwater and brackish marshes with sedges, rushes, and cattails.
Often hidden in heavy cover. In summer, may be found on open mudflats with young. Calls given both day and night.
Feeds on crustaceans and aquatic insects.
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