Clapper rail

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Clapper Rail)
Jump to: navigation, search
Clapper Rail
Râle gris.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Rallus
Species: R. longirostris
Binomial name
Rallus longirostris
Boddaert, 1783

The Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) is a member of the rail family, Rallidae. Some researchers believe that this bird and the similar King Rail are a single species; the two birds are known to interbreed.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The Clapper rail and its subspecies are found along the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean]] coasts and several inland locales of the Americas.


The clapper rail is found along the Atlantic coasts; of the U.S. East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Eastern Mexico, and some Caribbean islands, and south through eastern Central America to Northern South America and Northeastern Brazil.

Populations are stable on the East Coast of the U.S. — although the numbers of this bird have declined due to habitat loss.


The clapper rail is found along the Pacific Coasts; from central California and western Arizona, south through Western Mexico and western Central America, to coastal Ecuador and northern Peru.

Despite this wide range, numbers of the Clapper Rail are now very low on the West Coast of the United States, because of significant destruction of coastal marshland and estuary habitats from urbanization.


Currently named subspecies of the Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) include: [2] [3]

  • Rallus longirostris beldingi
  • Rallus longirostris belizensis—Ycacos Clapper Rail; Ycacos Lagoon, Belize
  • Rallus longirostris caribaeus—Caribbean Clapper Rail
  • Rallus longirostris coryi
  • Rallus longirostris crassirostris
  • Rallus longirostris crepitans
  • Rallus longirostris cypereti—coast of Ecuador and northwestern Peru. Gruiformes Taxon Advisory Group Regional Collection Plan (First edition, 2009-2012).
  • Rallus longirostris grossi
  • Rallus longirostris insularum—Mangrove Clapper Rail
  • Rallus longirostris leucophaeus
  • Rallus longirostris levipes—Light-Footed Clapper Rail; coastal Southern California through northern Baja California. [4]
  • Rallus longirostris longirostris
  • Rallus longirostris margaritae
  • Rallus longirostris obsoletus—California Clapper Rail
  • Rallus longirostris pallidus
  • Rallus longirostris pelodramus
  • Rallus longirostris phelpsi—Phelps Clapper Rail
  • Rallus longirostris saturatus—Gulf Coast Clapper Rail; U.S. Gulf Coasts of southwest Alabama through Texas, and of Tamaulipas (México). [5]
  • Rallus longirostris scottii
  • Rallus longirostris waynei
  • Rallus longirostris yumanensis—Yuma Clapper Rail

Selected subspecies[edit]

Gulf Coast Clapper Rail—Rallus longirostris saturatus
Clapper Rail in Lakeland, Florida.


The Clapper Rail is a chicken-sized bird that rarely flies. It is grayish brown with a pale chestnut breast and a noticeable white patch under the tail. Its bill curves slightly downwards. The Trinidadian subspecies R. l. pelodromus is more heavily marked with black above.



These birds eat crustaceans, aquatic insects, and small fish. They search for food while walking, sometimes probing with their long bills, in shallow water or mud.


The twig nest is placed low in mangrove roots, and 3-7 purple-spotted buff eggs are laid.


External links[edit]