Yellow Rail Life History


Habitat MarshesShallow marshes, and wet meadows; in winter, drier fresh-water and brackish marshes, as well as dense, deep grass, and rice fields.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:4-10 eggs
Condition at Hatching:Covered with black down, leave nest within one day. Fed by parents.
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Behavior ProbingBack to top


Conservation Restricted RangeYellow Rail is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. The Waterbird Conservation for the Americas rates Yellow Rail a 16 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and lists it as a Species of High Concern. Because of secretive nature, there is no information available on population trends, but it is listed as "threatened" or "endangered" in some states and as "vulnerable" in Quebec.Back to top


Kushlan, J. A., M. J. Steinkamp, K. C. Parsons, J. Capp, M. A. Cruz, M. Coulter, I. Davidson, L. Dickson, N. Edelson, R. Elliott, R. M. Erwin, S. Hatch, S. Kress, R. Milko, S. Miller, K. Mills, R. Paul, R. Phillips, J. E. Saliva, W. Sydeman, J. Trapp, J. Wheeler and K. Wohl (2002). Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1. Washington, DC, USA. 

Leston, Lionel and Theodore A. Bookhout. 2015. Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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