Clapper Rail

Despite this wide range, numbers of the Clapper Rail are now very low on the United States' west coast, because of destruction of the coastal marshland habitat. The largest population of the western subspecies, California Clapper Rail, R. l. obsoletus, numbering something under 3000 birds, is in San Francisco Bay; there is a small inland population along the Colorado River. On the US east coasts, populations are stable, although the numbers of this bird have declined due to habitat loss.

Picture of the Clapper Rail has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.
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Author: Len BluminPermission(Reusing this file)Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

The Clapper Rail is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

The Clapper Rail Study Team was formed in 1985 in an effort to expand volunteer opportunities to rail recovery effort. Study Team members help observe the rails, trap and band, search for nests, do call counts, etc. The participants have come from all walks of life including students, engineers, policemen, mathematicians, administrative assistants, homemakers, and retirees, among many others. Folks start as volunteers and once they catch on, they share in whatever grant money and donations we may have available. More

The Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) is a member of the rail family, Rallidae. It is 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. Despite this wide range, numbers of the Clapper Rail are now very low on the United States' west coast, because of destruction of the coastal marshland habitat. More

The Clapper Rail is a chicken-sized bird that rarely flies. It is grayish brown with a pale chestnut breast and a noticeable white patch under the tail. Its bill curves slightly downwards. The Trinidadian subspecies R. l. pelodromus is more heavily marked with black above. These birds eat crustaceans, aquatic insects, and small fish. They search for food while walking, sometimes probing with their long bills, in shallow water or mud. More

The California Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) is an endangered subspecies of the Clapper Rail (R. longirostris). It is found principally in California's San Francisco Bay, and also in Monterey Bay and Morro Bay. A member of the rail family, Rallidae, it is a chicken-sized bird that rarely flies. Like other subspecies of Clapper Rail, this form has a long, downward curving bill and is grayish brown with a pale chestnut breast and conspicuous whitish rump patch. More

The California clapper rail is a small, secretive salt marsh bird. © PeterLaTourrette/ The California clapper rail is a secretive hen-like salt marsh bird. An endangered subspecies of the clapper rail, which is still common in the East, the California clapper rail suffered from unsustainable hunting during the Gold Rush days and, more recently, severe habitat decline in its coastal habitat. More

Clapper RailRallus longirostris WatchList 2007 Status: More

The large Clapper Rail is abundant in saltwater marshes and mangrove swamps from Massachusetts to South America. More

Bent Life History for the Clapper Rail - the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written. CALIFORNIA CLAPPER RAIL RALLUS OBSOLETUS Ridgway HABITS As its name implies this bird is a product of the Golden State and it never wanders far from the general vicinity of the Golden Gate~ Messrs. More

Clapper railThe clapper rail belongs to the family Rallidae, which also includes gallinules and coots. Rails are marsh inhabitants with laterally compressed (flattened) bodies that enable them to slip between reeds and tall grasses. The clapper rail, also known as the marsh hen, is a relatively large bird (36-41 cm or 14-16 in) with long legs, large feet, and long toes. The bird's wings are rounded and short, its flanks are barred with black and white, and it has a long bill. More

* 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”. * Common in the East, the subspecies that inhabits California is endangered. More

Biologists call the CA Clapper Rail Rallus longirostris obsoletus. Scientific names are in Latin or Greek. Pelicans are in the Rallidae (rail) family. The common names of bird species are capitalized. So we write California Clapper Rail. But if you are writing about rails in general, you should use lower case. Learn more from this Wikipedia article. See a basic bird diagram (PDF). This species account is for 4th, 5th and 6th grade students. More

Limited Reproductive Success for California Clapper Rail in San Francisco Bay - By Steven E. Schwarzbach June 2006 in this issue: next story The only breeding population of the federally endangered California clapper rail nests in the intertidal margins of San Francisco Bay. Present-day tidal-marsh habitat in the bay is about 15 percent of historical acreage, and remaining California clapper rail habitat is extremely fragmented. More

In the early 1800s, California clapper rails (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) were abundant in the tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay and smaller populations were present in coastal marshes from Humboldt Bay to Morro Bay. Between 1850 and 1915, when rail hunting was made illegal, over-hunting by market and sport hunters decimated rail populations leading to the extinction of many local populations. Some local rail populations recovered following the hunting closure, however the California clapper rail never fully recovered. More

clapper rail recorded in nature is 7 years, 6 months (Edelman and Conway, 1998). Abundance and Range The breeding range of the clapper rail on the east coast extends from New Hampshire south to the Florida Keys and Carribean Islands, and along the Gulf Coast to Texas. The west coast population extends from San Francisco Bay to Mexico. Southern populations are year-round residents. Northern populations winter in the southern part of the breeding range. More

to worry about, the clapper rail had it good. It evolved accordingly. Its flight range is about that of a chicken. It is camouflaged with a brightly colored beak and fluffy white breast feathers. It lays its eggs on the ground. Its only defense is to run, but there again, when frightened, the clapper rail is just as likely to stand still in hopes of not being noticed. More

Clapper RailRallus longirostris Order GRUIFORMES – Family RALLIDAE Issue No. 340 Authors: Eddleman, William R., and Courtney J. Conway * Articles * Multimedia * References Courtesy Preview This Introductory article that you are viewing is a courtesy preview of the full life history account of this species. The remaining articles (Distribution, Habitat, Behavior, etc. More

Picture of Yuma Clapper Rail - Rallus longirostris yumanensis photo: U.S. More

California Clapper Rail are precariously low due to destruction of its coastal and estuarine marshland habitat by prior land development and shoreline fill. It has year-long, circadian activity and is most vocal nocturnally and crepuscularly (during the twilight). California Clapper RailHabitat The California Clapper Rail forages at the upper end of marshes, along the ecotone between mudflat and higher vegetated zones, and in tidal sloughs. More

The California Clapper Rail was once an abundant species in early 1800s. The beginning of their massive decrease in population was due to over-hunting, which was not banned until 1915 (Albertson, 1996). Some local populations were demolished, and despite some recovery after the hunting ban, the most severe blow to their population had begun—the destruction of wetlands. More

The California Clapper Rail is an endangered bird that also lives in the salt marshes of San Francisco Bay. It is a secretive bird that prefers to run and walk rather than fly. It is also a good swimmer, but will only swim when necessary. Clapper Rails look a bit like hens and are most active in the early morning and late evening. Both the male and female Clapper Rail incubate or sit on their eggs, and raise their young. More

Clapper Rail Rallus longirostris = enlarge + Clapper Rail More

Clapper RailThe Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) is a member of the rail family, Rallidae. Some researchers believe that this bird and the similar King Rail are a single species; the two birds are known to interbreed. Distribution / Range It is found along the east coast of North America, the coasts and some islands of the Caribbean, and across northern South America to eastern Brazil. More

Largely coastal in distribution, the Clapper Rail is made up of many subspecies which vary in size and plumage coloration. Preferring to walk or run, the Clapper Rail also swims well, and though capable of flight, seldom chooses to do so. Courtship or bonding displays are performed, along with feeding of the female by the male during the early breeding season. While territorial, defense becomes less aggressive once the young are nearing the age of independence. The Birdzilla. More

Melissa, the researcher, told us she was tracking Clapper Rails that had been fitted with transmitters. She said they have very restricted ranges, not traveling far from the site where they were trapped and outfitted with transmitters. Study Outline - This study 1 is aimed at understanding the impact of invasive spartina on the Clapper Rails. More

The light-footed clapper rail is a year-round resident (non-migratory). It inhabits coastal salt and freshwater marshes containing cordgrass, cattails or tules, and rushes. Its population declines were due to habitat loss of floodplain river areas and tidal estuaries. It was listed as federally Endangered in 1970, State Endangered in 1971. Clapper rails live in the lower Sweetwater River basin and tidal salt marsh at the confluence with San Diego Bay. More

If you take your eyes off a clapper rail for even a second or two, that may be the last time you see it. Clapper rails are secretive birds of the marshes that disappear into the undergrowth at the blink of an eye. That's one of the things that makes them unique among birds. Although perfectly capable to taking flight, they would rather run and hide from danger. Natural enemies include foxes, rats, feral cats, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers and peregrine falcons. More

Clapper Rail and a Common Yellowthroat downtown this a.m." To which Bob RIngler responded by email: "Wendy, A Clapper Rail would be an extraordinarily rare bird in Baltimore. The specimen should be saved or at least photographed. More

There are over 20 subspecies of Clapper Rail found along the coasts of North, Central, and South America. California has three subspecies, the California Clapper Rail, found primarily around San Francisco, the Light-footed Clapper Rail, found along the coast of southern and Baja California, and the Yuma Clapper Rail, found along the lower Colorado River and Salton Sea. The North American western subspecies of the Clapper Rail are on the U.S. Endangered Species List. More

Picture of Rallus longirostris above has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.
Original source: Richard Bicknell
Author: Richard Bicknell
Permission: Some rights reserved
Order : Gruiformes
Family : Rallidae
Genus : Rallus
Species : longirostris
Authority : Boddaert, 1783