Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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Synonym: Rallus longirostris
This is a frequent rail of mangrove swamps and saltwater marshes along the east coast of the United States, Mexico and Central America plus the Caribbean.
Clapper rails are larger than most other rails with a long slightly curved bill. Most of the body is mottled with the throat and belly smooth and drab. Birds along the Gulf Coast have some cinnamon coloring, especially on the belly while along the Atlantic coast birds tend to be grayer.
One of two large rails found in Florida, the other being the king rail (Rallus elegans) of freshwater marshes, although these species may sometimes overlap in brackish marshes. Until 2014 clapper rails were considered to be a subspecies of Rallus longirostris but now named as a separate secies Rallus crepitans. Rallus longirostris is now the mangrove rail of South America. The western subspecies of California, Arizona, Nevada and the western coast of Mexico is now Ridgeway's rail, Rallus obsoletus. This new species is named for ornithologist and artist Robert Ridgeway who first described the California rail subspecies. Ridgeway worked at the United States National Museum (Smithsonian) where he served as Curator of Birds from 1869 to 1929.
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Cornell All About Birds page for this species
Date record last modified:
Mar 19, 2018