Order Gruiformes

Family Rallidae

Rails, Gallinules, Coots
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General
  • Small to medium-sized terrestrial, marsh and aquatic birds, with short and deep to long and slender bill, moderately long neck, broad wings, short, soft tail and strong legs.
  • Worldwide, except for polar regions and waterless deserts; widely distributed on oceanic islands.
  • Many types of wetland; also grassland, forest and dense scrub.
  • 12-63 cm.
  • 39 genera, 148 species, 332 taxa.
  • 52 species threatened;
    probably 2 of these, as well as 14 other species and 4 subspecies, extinct since 1600.