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JF Gmelin, 1789
The clapper rail (Rallus crepitans) is a member of the rail family, Rallidae. The taxonomy for this species is confusing and still being determined. The Ridgway's rail and the mangrove rail have been recently split. Furthermore, some taxonomists consider that the king rail and Aztec rail should be considered within this group, as those birds look similar and the birds are known to interbreed where they share territories.
Distribution and habitat
The clapper rail is found along the Atlantic coasts of the eastern U.S., Gulf of Mexico, eastern Mexico, some Caribbean islands, and south through eastern Central America, as well at several inland locales.
Populations are stable on the East Coast of the U.S., although the numbers of this bird have declined due to habitat loss.
- Rallus c. belizensis—Ycacos clapper rail; Ycacos Lagoon, Belize
- Rallus c. caribaeus—Caribbean clapper rail
- Rallus c. coryi
- Rallus c. crepitans, nominate
- Rallus c. grossi
- Rallus c. insularum
- Rallus c. leucophaeus
- Rallus c. pallidus
- Rallus c. saturatus—Gulf Coast clapper rail; U.S. Gulf Coasts of southwest Alabama through Texas, and of Tamaulipas (México).
- Rallus c. scottii
- Rallus c. waynei
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 twig nest is placed low in mangrove roots, and 3-7 purple-spotted buff eggs are laid.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Rallus crepitans". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Encyclopedia of Life—EOL.org: Information on Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) and subspecies . accessed 6.4.2014
- Gwannon.com: Taxonomy of Rallus longirostris — subspecies and distributions . accessed 6.4.2014
- GBIF.org: Distribution map for Gulf Coast Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris saturatus)
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