Order Gruiformes

Family Rallidae

Rails, Gallinules, Coots
Only subscribers have complete access to the families of the HBW Alive. To make the most of all of HBW's features, discover our subscriptions now!
HBW Alive Plans & Pricing  Why subscribe

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.
  • 38 genera, 142 species, 319 taxa.
  • 33 species threatened;
    probably 2 of these, as well as 14 other species and 4 subspecies, extinct since 1600.

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. & Bonan, A. (2020). Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52229 on 6 April 2020).