Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Bar-winged Rail (Hypotaenidia poeciloptera)


French: Râle des Fidji German: Fidschiralle Spanish: Rascón de las Fiji
Other common names: Fiji Rail

Rallina pœciloptera


, 1866,

Viti Levu, Fiji


Previously placed in genus Nesoclopeus; has at times been placed in Rallina or even Rallus. Closely related to H. woodfordi, and has been considered conspecific. Monotypic.


Fiji: twelve 19th-century specimens from Viti Levu and Ovalau; unconfirmed reports from Taveuni in 1971#R and from Viti Levu (Waisa, near Vunidawa) in 1973#R.

There have been no convincing recent reports from Ovalau or Taveuni, which remain free of mongooses (Herpestidae) and where other rail species were recorded during surveys and other fieldwork in 2002–2005#R. Elsewhere, predation by introduced cats and mongooses is thought to have been responsible for its decline and ultimate extinction.

Descriptive notes

33 cm. Probably flightless. Sexes alike; female possibly slightly larger. Very similar to H. woodfordi, but differs in having brown upperparts, medium dark slate... read more


Not described.


Remote forested areas, secondary forest, old taro fields and possibly swamps.

Food and feeding

No information available.


Recorded nesting Oct–Dec and possibly Mar. One nest, “of sedges”, contained 6 eggs; on another occasion a male and 4 eggs were... read more



Status and conservation

EXTINCT. An unconfirmed record from N of Waisa, near Vunidawa, Viti Levu, in 1973, the first record since 1890; however, species is thought unlikely to have survived there... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2019). Bar-winged Rail (Hypotaenidia poeciloptera). 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 10 December 2019).