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Yellow Rail

Coturnicops noveboracensis ORDER: GRUIFORMES FAMILY: RALLIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Because of its secretive nature, the Yellow Rail is infrequently encountered. The second-smallest rail in North America, it breeds in sedge marshes and winters in marshes and hay fields.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

Small marshbird. Difficult to see; runs under vegetation. Short yellow or blackish bill. Very short tail. Buffy yellow chest and face. Yellowish and black streaks on back. Crown dark. Dark stripe through eyes. Indistinct white patch at back of wings.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but darker and more spotted.

Range Map Help

Yellow Rail Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Adult

    Yellow Rail

    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Aitkin County, Minnesota, June 2000

Similar Species

  • Immature Sora similar, but is larger, less yellow, lacks bold dark streaking on back, and lacks a white patch in the wings.