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Ridgway’s Rail (Clapper Rail)

Rallus obsoletus

(formerly Rallus longirostris)

As with most members of the “Rail” clan, due to their shy nature, they are more often heard than seen. The Clapper Rail group is found in salt marshes and mangrove swamps. It is more common in the eastern USA and eastern South America. In the western USA it is less common. It is threatened and endangered in the west because of destruction of the coastal marshland habitat. Scientists disagree on the sub-species in this group. Some believe the King Rail and the Aztec Rail should be included here.

Addendum: In 2014 the Clapper Rail subspecies were given species status. The west coastal “Light-Footed Clapper Rail” became the Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus levipes), and the “Yuma Clapper Rail” became the subspecies Rallus obsoletus yumanensis by order of the high command of the American Ornithological Union. [I think I have that right]

      Clapper Rail Song

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