Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Calayan Rail (Gallirallus calayanensis)


French: Râle de Calayan German: Calayanralle Spanish: Rascón de Calayán

Gallirallus calayanensis

D. Allen et al.

, 2004,

Longog, 300 m, Calayan Island, Philippines


A distinctive taxon. Genetic studies suggest a very isolated position, and placement in a new genus may be appropriate. Monotypic.


Calayan I, off N Luzon, in N Philippines.

Descriptive notes

c. 30 cm; 245 g. A dark and compact rail with rather long and deep-based bill. Plumage is mostly dark olive, with side of head and throat blackish, chin white, rump olive-... read more


Usual call a series of hoarse, staccato “ngeck” notes, repeated at rate of c. 7 per... read more


Primary and secondary forest on coralline limestone.

Food and feeding

One stomach contained opercula of snails (Gastropoda), beetle (Coleoptera) fragments, and millipede (Diplopoda) rings. Forages by pecking... read more


One nest with 3 eggs in Jun; nest on the ground at the base of a fig tree, loosely constructed with dried leaves and stems; eggs pale pink... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Batanes and Babuyan Islands Secondary Area. Has very small known range, within which its population likely very small;... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J. & de Juana, E. (2019). Calayan Rail (Gallirallus calayanensis). 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 11 December 2019).