Buff-banded rail

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"Tikling" redirects here. For the other species referred to by this name, see Barred rail.
Buff-banded rail
Gallirallus philippensis Lord Howe Island 1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Gallirallus
Species: G. philippensis
Binomial name
Gallirallus philippensis
Linnaeus, 1766

Rallus philippensis

The buff-banded rail (Gallirallus philippensis) is a distinctively coloured, highly dispersive, medium-sized rail of the rail family, Rallidae. This species comprises several subspecies found throughout much of Australasia and the south-west Pacific region, including the Philippines (where it is known as tikling), New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand (where it is known as the banded rail or moho-pereru in Māori),[2] and numerous smaller islands, covering a range of latitudes from the tropics to the Subantarctic.


It is a largely terrestrial bird the size of a small domestic chicken, with mainly brown upperparts, finely banded black and white underparts, a white eyebrow, chestnut band running from the bill round the nape, with a buff band on the breast. It utilises a range of moist or wetland habitats with low, dense vegetation for cover. It is usually quite shy but may become very tame and bold in some circumstances, such as in island resorts within the Great Barrier Reef region.[3]

The buff-banded rail is an omnivorous scavenger which feeds on a range of terrestrial invertebrates and small vertebrates, seeds, fallen fruit and other vegetable matter, as well as carrion and refuse. Its nest is usually situated in dense grassy or reedy vegetation close to water, with a clutch size of 3-4. Although some island populations may be threatened, or even exterminated, by introduced predators, the species as a whole appears to be safe and its conservation status is considered to be of Least Concern.[4]


Described subspecies include:[5][6][7]

Gallery and media[edit]

Lady Elliot Island, Qld, Australia


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Hypotaenidia philippensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN) 2012: e.T22692425A38360502. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Hugh Robertson, Barrie Heather (Author), & Derek Onley. (2005) The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand Revised edition, Viking.
  3. ^ Marchant, S.; & Higgins, P.J. (Eds). (1993). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 2: Raptors to Lapwings. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553069-1
  4. ^ BirdLife International. (2006). Species factsheet: Gallirallus philippensis. Downloaded [1] on 25 October 2006
  5. ^ Pied-billed Grebe (Porphyrio podiceps)
  6. ^ Coates, Brian J. (1985). The Birds of Papua New Guinea. Volume 1: Non-Passerines. Dove Publications: Alderley, Queensland. ISBN 0-9590257-0-7
  7. ^ Zoonomen - Zoological Nomenclature Resource, 2006.07.04

External links[edit]