Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Grey-throated Rail (Canirallus oculeus)


French: Râle à gorge grise German: Augenralle Spanish: Rascón carigrís

Gallinula oculea


, 1855,

Rio Butri, Ghana


Birds E from Cameroon sometimes treated as separate race, batesi, but considered to differ too little from other populations to merit subspecific status. Monotypic.


Sierra Leone E across N DRCongo to W Uganda (Semliki National Park)#R and SW to coastal Congo. Occurrence in N Central African Republic (Manovo-Gounda St Floris National Park) doubtful.

Descriptive notes

30 cm. Plumage unlike that of any other rail in its habitat. White spots on remiges, and pale spots or bars on wing-coverts, would be obvious in flight but species is... read more


Song lasts 2–3 minutes; starts with hollow notes like double drumbeats; after 20 seconds... read more


Primary and secondary lowland rain forest, occurring in ravines and along creeks and forest streams... read more

Food and feeding

Skinks, snails, slugs, small crabs, millipedes and insects including ants, caterpillars and other larvae, and beetles. Seen foraging on... read more


Breeds during rains: Cameroon, Feb, Apr, Jul; Zaire, breeding condition Sept, Nov, Dec. 2 nests described: one, of broad grass leaves, on a... read more


None recorded.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Regarded as locally numerous only in Congo, elsewhere apparently uncommon or rare; however, its extreme secretiveness, and lack of... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). Grey-throated Rail (Canirallus oculeus). 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).