Buff-banded Rail

Gallirallus philippensis




Rails, Gallinules and Coots (Rallidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White-pink eggs with black brown blotches.

Number of Eggs:

4 - 6

Incubation Days:

19 - 25

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

Nest is built in dense marsh or grassy vegetation, close to the ground or bear water.

Nest Material:

Reeds and grass stems.


Most do not migrate



Buff-banded Rail: Chicken-sized rail with chestnut crown, face, and nape, long white eyebrow, brown back and wings with some black and white spotting, and gray underparts with black and white barring on breast and belly. Buff band on breast. Stout red-brown bill. Short brown tail with some black and white barring. Pink-brown legs and feet. Forages on the ground for insects, small lizards, and other small creatures, fruit, carrion, and garbage.

Breeding and Nesting

Buff-banded Rail: Four to six white-pink eggs with black brown blotches are laid in a cup-shaped nest constructed with reeds and grass stems. Nothing is used to line the nest and it is built in dense marsh or grassy vegetation close to the ground and near water. Both sexes incubate the eggs for 19 to 25 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Buff-banded Rail: Feeds on a wide variety of items including insects, tiny lizards, frogs, and other small creatures, fallen fruit, and seeds. It also scavenges carrion and will visit garbage heaps and dumps to look for food. This rail forages by picking food off of the ground with its bill.


Buff-banded Rail: Call is a harsh, squeaky "kreek" note, repeated several times. Also emits low growls, grunts, and hisses.

Similar Species

Buff-banded Rail: Red-legged Crake and Slaty-legged Crake are smaller, have plain rufous heads, throats and upper breasts, and wider barring on undersides.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

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.
The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X