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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.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
12.6–16.1 in
32–41 cm
Weight
5.6–14.1 oz
160–400 g
Other Names
  • Râle gris, Râle d'Eau,Pintade,Rateau (French)
  • Rascón picudo,Gallinuela de aqua salada,Pollo de mangle (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The oldest recorded Clapper Rail was a male, and at least 7 years, 6 months old when he was shot in New Jersey in 1977. He had been banded in the same state in 1971.

Habitat


Marsh

Saltmarshes and mangrove swamps.

Food


Insects

Mostly crustaceans, but also small fish, insects, seeds, birds eggs, and slugs.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Egg Description
Creamy white with irregular brown blotches.
Condition at Hatching
Covered with black down, leave nest within one day. Fed by parents.
Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Probing

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

There is little information on population numbers of Clapper Rail, but the species appears to have declined in many areas of their range between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. It rates a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan lists it as a Species of Moderate Concern. Clapper Rail is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. The related West Coast species, Ridgway's Rail, is federally endangered, but the eastern subspecies is abundant.

Credits

Range Map Help

Clapper Rail Range Map
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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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