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Clapper Rail

Rallus crepitans ORDER: GRUIFORMES FAMILY: RALLIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The large Clapper Rail is abundant in saltwater marshes and mangrove swamps from the U.S. East Coast to Central America and the Caribbean. In 2014, two other geographic forms were split into full species: Ridgway's Rail of California, Arizona, and Nevada; and Mangrove Rail of South America.

Appearance

Shorebirdlike
Shorebirdlike
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized, chicken-like marsh bird.
  • Compact body.
  • Short tail.
  • Strong legs.
  • Long, slightly down-curved bill.
  • Gray or reddish.
  • Dull stripes on flanks.

Immature Description

Downy chick black. Juvenile similar to adult, but marking indistinct and with variable amount of black on sides.

Range Map Help

Clapper Rail Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

Similar Species

  • King Rail is very similar, but generally is more reddish, face more rusty, and flank stripes more distinct.
  • Virginia Rail is smaller, is bright reddish, and has brighter colored bill.

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