Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Near Threatened

Guadalcanal Rail (Hypotaenidia woodfordi)


French: Râle de Woodford German: Guadalcanalralle Spanish: Rascón de Guadalcanal
Other common names: Woodford's Rail, Solomons Rail (when lumped with H. tertia and H. immaculata)

Rallina Woodfordi


, 1889,

Aola, Guadalcanal, 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. tertia and H. immaculata, but differs from tertia in its black vs yellowish-horn bill (3), pale grey vs black head (3), and greater amount of white spotting on wing edges and barring on flanks (1); and from immaculata in its black vs ivory-horn bill (3), dark grey vs greenish-yellow legs (ns[2]), pale grey vs black head (3), and many white spots on wing edges and white barring on lower flanks vs none (3). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Guadalcanal I (S Solomon Is).

Also reported from Malaita and Choiseul (Solomon Is); sightings from New Georgia and Kolombangara may be referable to Hypotaenidia rovianae.

Descriptive notes

30 cm. Fairly large, very dark rail with long, powerful bill; flightless. Has pale grey head; rest of plumage mostly dark brown above and blackish below, with white spots on... read more


Unmusical series of “kik-kik” notes; also single “ki... read more


Lowland forest, secondary growth and swamp-forest, occasionally up to 1000 m.  

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet presumed to consist mainly of worms, snails, insects, frogs, lizards and small snakes; also young shoots of taro... read more


Little information. Possibly breeds at any time of year.  



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Global range restricted to a single island. Until very end of 20th century this species was known only from the... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Guadalcanal Rail (Hypotaenidia woodfordi). 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).