Black Rail

Laterallus jamaicensis
L 6″(15 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Ki-ki-doo.”, last syllable lower in pitch. Mainly heard in breeding season.

Description: Sexes similar.
Small. Black overall with chestnut nape and white speckling on back. Short dark bill.

Behavior: Extremely secretive, much more likely to be heard than seen.

Habitat: Marshy meadows with heavy sedge and grass vegetation.

Where in Nebraska: Rare spring and fall migrant. Sightings across the state. No breeding records.

Field Notes: Often confused with chicks of other rail species.

Fun Facts: About the size of a sparrow, the Black Rail is the smallest rail in North America.