King Rail

photo by Phil Swanson

Rallus elegans
L 15″(38 cm).

Song or calls:
Series of fewer than ten “kek-kek-kek” notes. Notes are evenly spaced.

Description: Sexes similar. Feathers on back are black with tawny edges. Buffy eyebrows, cinnamon colored breast. Flanks have strong black and white barring. Long legs, and long slightly decurved bill.

king railHabitat: Freshwater marshes with plenty of shoreline and emergent vegetation.

Where in Nebraska: Rare summer resident in eastern Nebraska. Probably a local breeder.

Field Notes: Occasionally hybridizes with Clapper Rail.

Fun Facts: When King Rails catch food on land, they often take the item to water and dunk it before eating it.

King Rail - photo by Phil Swanson King Rail - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)