Clapper Rail

Rallus longirostris

Order

GRUIFORMES

Family

Rails, Gallinules and Coots (Rallidae)

Code 4

CLRA

Code 6

RALLON

ITIS

  • wgba_banner
  • ibird_banner
  • journal_banner
1 2 3

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Clapper Rail is a permanent resident of saltwater marshes in coastal areas of the eastern and western United States, including coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico. It also occurs in similar coastal habitats on most Caribbean islands, in Mexico, parts of Central America, and northern South America south to Peru and Brazil. Although some Clapper Rail populations and subspecies in California have declined due to habitat loss, the IUCN does not consider this species to be threatened and gives it a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Clapper Rail: Large, noisy marsh bird, gray or brown upperparts, vertical white-barred flanks and belly, buff or rust-brown breast. Bill is long, slightly decurved. Gray legs, feet. Feeds at low tide on mudflats or hidden in salt marsh vegetation. Flight is low and fluttering over short distances.


Range and Habitat

Clapper Rail: Found along the east coast of North America, the coasts and some islands of the Caribbean, and across northern South America to eastern Brazil. On the west coast, it breeds from central California through Mexico, and south to northwestern Peru. Preferred habitats include coastal saltwater marshes.

whatbird search for your browser

SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"he-e-eh-heh-heh-heh", "chack-chack-chack"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Common in the East, the subspecies that inhabits California is endangered. They have never recovered from the hunting pressure of the gold rush era and have suffered tremendously from loss of habitat and non-native predators such as the Norway rat and feral cats.
  • In 1992 the estimated population of the California subspecies was only 240 birds. Due to efforts on behalf of the bird today they number over 1000.
  • The rattling call of the Clapper Rail is one of the most common sounds in the marshes. Nesting pairs enhance their pair bond by blending their clatter until they sound like one bird. Biologists refer to this is as a “duet”.
  • A group of clapper rails are collectively known as an "applause", "audience", and "commercial" of rails.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Clapper Rail

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X