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Show us your Rails, Crakes and Gallinules


offshorebirder
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Rails are one of my favorite bird groups. Part of their allure is that many are very difficult to see (or photograph) well. I shall start this thread by posting some photos of Clapper Rails (Rallus crepitans).

 

 

When I was playing recordings as part of a King Rail survey, this Clapper Rail (a very close relative) became very agitated and walked right up to me. He was calling vociferously to assert his territory. Clapper Rails are normally very secretive, but with good fieldcraft or when a bird's hormones are raging, one sometimes gets lucky photo opportunities. This bird seemed to be saying "Hey buddy, have you seen that interloper?"

 

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Here is what may be the same Clapper Rail, in the same location, down to a few meters. It is either the same male, or his mate. It is in the process of gulping down a Fiddler Crab, whose legs it had just removed one by one.

 

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Here is a mother Clapper Rail and her downy chicks at the edge of a salt marsh next to the dike of a former ricefield that had recently been mowed. They were foraging in the open and occasionally ducking back in the marsh grass.

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I think Purple Gallinules (Porphyrio martinicus) are some of the handsomest birds around.

 

Here is a sequence of a mother Purple Gallinule leading her chick across a canal at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in the southeastern corner of South Carolina. She had led her entire brood across, but one chick was lagging behind and having difficulty figuring out a route across. So the mother went back to fetch it. The chicks walked on floating vegetation but it was difficult to plot a course across the open expanse where vegetation was sparse.

 

Mother Gallinule urging the chick to follow:

 

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Showing the chick where to start crossing:

 

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Chick using a reed for a bridge:

 

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Chick backtracking to find a better route:

 

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Chick leaping from reed to reed, and flapping its ridiculous little wings:

 

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Safely to the other side:

 

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Here is another mother-chick pair at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area. Note how HUGE the chick's feet are in relation to its body.

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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I think Purple Gallinules (Porphyrio martinicus) are some of the handsomest birds around.

 

Here is a sequence of a mother Purple Gallinule leading her chick across a canal at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in the southeastern corner of South Carolina. She had led her entire brood across, but one chick was lagging behind and having difficulty figuring out a route across. So the mother went back to fetch it. The chicks walked on floating vegetation but it was difficult to plot a course across the open expanse where vegetation was sparse.

 

~ @@offshorebirder

 

This is a valuable addition to Birding.

Thank you so much for adding it.

That's quite an impressive series involving the chicks.

Delightful photography!

Tom K.

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Grey-necked wood-rail (Barranco Alto, Pantanal)

 

 

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Thanks for the kind words @@Tom Kellie.

 

@@Bush dog - that is a vibrant photo of the Wood-rail - thank you very much for sharing it. I think Wood-rails are fascinating birds - sort of upland forest rails - almost an evolutionary detour towards gallinaceous birds.

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@@offshorebirder

 

Thanks a lot. Here are two more pictures of the grey-necked wood-rail.

 

 

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  • 9 months later...

This is a Sora (Porzana carolina) - sometimes called Sora Rail. I photographed it day before yesterday in a drained ricefield in coastal South Carolina.

 

Not the greatest image quality but I thought it worth sharing.

 

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  • 9 months later...

Spotted Flufftail at a little stream near the Ikuywa River in Kakamega Forest Reserve, Kenya.

 

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@@monalisa - that is an incredible photo of a Buff-banded Rail!

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  • 2 months later...

Here is a photo sequence of a nice and surprisingly long encounter I had with a Clapper Rail this past weekend. It was posing on the edge of a canal along with a very extroverted Least Bittern.

 

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  • 11 months later...

Here is a King Rail - a shy and declinine species - that I had a wonderful encounter with this past Saturday.  Sort of a private "Audience with the King".  

 

It was at the Yawkey Wildlife Center in mid-coastal South Carolina.

 

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  • 11 months later...

And here is a little rebe enjoying the Northumbrian spring taken from the cottae we were staying at

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