Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Okinawa Rail (Hypotaenidia okinawae)


French: Râle d’Okinawa German: Okinawaralle Spanish: Rascón de Okinawa

Rallus okinawae

Yamashina and Mano

, 1981,

near Mount Fuenchiji, Kunigami-Gun, north Okinawa, south Japan


Sometimes placed in Rallus or Gallirallus. Closely related to H. torquata and H. insignis. Monotypic.


N Okinawa, in Ryukyu Is.

Descriptive notes

29–35 cm; one adult 433 g, one fully grown 435 g; wingspan 48–50 cm. Almost flightless; tail very short and decomposed; legs long and strong. Scarcely... read more


Highly vocal. Calls include “kwi kwi kwi ki-kwee ki-kwee”, “ki-ki-ki”,... read more


Subtropical broadleaf evergreen forest with dense undergrowth and some water; occurs in primary and... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on wide variety of animals and plants throughout the year, but frequency of occurrence and wet weight of animal matter significantly... read more


Lays May–Jul. Monogamous and territorial; pair-bond apparently permanent. Nest placed on ground. Eggs 2–3; incubation period... read more


Sedentary, but in winter some may wander to reach areas just S of main distribution; ages of birds... read more

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Confined to largely uninhabited forests of N quarter (Yambaru) of Okinawa I, N from the Shioya to Higashi-son line; S Okinawa is highly developed and well... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Okinawa Rail (Hypotaenidia okinawae). 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 19 January 2020).