[Mystery bird] Clapper Rail, Rallus longirostris, photographed at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 26 May 2010 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/640s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
How to distinguish Clapper Rails from other, similar species:
- King Rail is slightly larger than Clapper Rail, prefers freshwater marshes while Clapper Rail prefers coastal brackish/saltwater marshes. Unlike the more grayish Clapper Rail, King Rail has rust or red-brown colored head, neck and underparts, and more sharply defined bars on flanks. Voices also differ. [Note however, King and Clapper rails occasionally interbreed in the wild, and thus, some scientists think of them as being the same species]
- Virginia Rail is smaller than Clapper Rail, with distinctive gray cheeks and chestnut-brown back. Virginia Rail has orangish-brown legs and feet while Clapper Rail has grey legs and feet. Virginia Rail prefers inland freshwater marshes while Clapper Rail prefers coastal brackish/saltwater marshes. Voices also differ.