Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Near Threatened

Bougainville Rail (Hypotaenidia tertia)


French: Râle de Bougainville German: Bougainvilleralle Spanish: Rascón de Bougainville

Nesoclopeus woodfordi tertius


, 1949,

Bougainville, Solomon Islands


Sometimes placed in Rallina or Rallus, or recently, along with closest allies, in Nesoclopeus on account of differences in structural characters. Closely related to †H. poeciloptera, with which may be conspecific; hitherto considered conspecific with H. immaculata and H. woodfordi (see latter for differences); differs from immaculata in its yellow-horn vs ivory-horn bill (2); dark grey vs greenish-yellow legs (2); white barring on lower flanks and wing edges vs no barring (3). Monotypic.


Bougainville I (N Solomon Is).

Descriptive notes

c. 30 cm. Fairly large, very dark rail with long, powerful bill; flightless. Has black head; otherwise mostly dark brownish-black above and blackish below, with some white... read more


Series of “kik-kik”, single “ki” notes and an explosive squeal.


Found to thrive in tall (2 m) grass and shrubs in the region of Arawa (on E coast). Possibly... read more

Food and feeding

Diet presumably dominated by molluscs, worms, insects, probably with some larger items such as small amphibians and reptiles; some... read more


Active nests found in Feb and Aug; observations indicate that nesting can occur at any time of year, and adults with very young chicks seen... read more


Little information. Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Numerous in suitable habitat; at very end of 20th century reported as being common throughout E lowlands of the... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Bougainville Rail (Hypotaenidia tertia). 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 26 February 2020).