Order Gruiformes

Family Rallidae

Rails, Gallinules, Coots
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Vertical Tabs

  • 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, 143 species, 320 taxa.
  • 51 species threatened;
    probably 2 of these, as well as 14 other species and 4 subspecies, extinct since 1600.

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. & Bonan, A. (2013). Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2013). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/52229 on 27 November 2015).