galapagos rail

galapagos rail facts

Name: Rail
Family: Rallidae
Scientific name: Laterallus spilonotus
Length: 15 – 16 cm (5.9 – 6 in)
Weight: 35-45g

Conversation Status: Near Threatened

Category: Shore Birds
Number of Species: 28
Endemic Species: 19

In total, 21 species of water birds have been recorded in Galapagos, 10 of which are endemic to the Islands. Thirty Four species of shore birds have been recorded in Galapagos, only 2 of which are endemic.

Category: Waterbirds
Six species of Rails and Crakes have been recorded in Galapagos: 3 resident species and 3 vagrant species. The only endemic species is the Galapagos Rail. Rails and crakes are small to medium-sized ground-dwelling birds with plump bodies; short tails, which are often held erect; short necks and bills; and long legs and toes (the feet are not webbed). They are generally rather furtive, mainly inhabiting marshy areas and are usually reluctant to fly. They are good swimmers. The sexes are alike in all species.

The Galapagos Rail is an uncommon resident of Galapagos. It breeds from September to April. Population is declining and its range becoming increasingly restricted. Now it is virtually confined to the highlands where it inhabits dense grassy vegetation, thickets and forests.

Identification:
A tiny, dark, short-winged rail. ADULT: Upper parts dark chocolate-brown, finely spotted with white; under parts dark slate-gray to grayish-brown; eyes scarlet; legs and feet brown. JUVENILE: Similar to adult but plumage generally duller and slightly paler and lacks white spots on the upper parts; eye dark.

Voice:
Gives a range of calls but typically a rapid “chi-chi-chi-chirroo”

Behavior:
Rather furtive, although can be very tame and sometimes inquisitive. Flight very weak and runs rather than flies when disturbed.

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