Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Austral Rail (Rallus antarcticus)


French: Râle austral German: Magellanralle Spanish: Rascón pidén

Rallus Antarcticus

P. P. King

, 1828,

Straits of Magellan


Sometimes regarded as conspecific with R. limicola and/or particularly R. semiplumbeus (but for latter see above). Monotypic.


S Chile (Magallanes) and patchily S Argentina (Río Negro to Santa Cruz)#R#R; recently recorded in Falkland Is#R.

Descriptive notes

20 cm. In fresh plumage, breast and sides washed olive brown. Sexes alike. Similar to R. semiplumbeus but smaller, with sandy buff (not brown) edges to dorsal... read more


Most common vocalization is a series of high-pitched notes "pee", "peeree",... read more


Wet fields, rushy parts of meadows, rushy lake shores and reedbeds, mostly adjacent to coast. In... read more

Food and feeding

One stomach contained caddisflies (Limnophilus meridionalis, Trichoptera). Birds wintering in a garden fed on grubs found... read more


Chile, Oct, possibly Nov; Argentina, possibly Nov; probably breeds throughout its range, but data lacking. Only definite nest was recorded... read more


Northward post-breeding migration may occur, at least in southernmost populations, Mar–Apr.... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. There were only three records between 1900 and 1998, when rediscovered in Santa Cruz province, Argentina. Previously considered Critically Endangered, it was... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B., Boesman, P., de Juana, E. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Austral Rail (Rallus antarcticus). 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 on 30 March 2020).