Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)


French: Râle à bec ensanglanté German: Grauralle Spanish: Rascón gallineta

Rallus sanguinolentus


, 1838,

Brazil and Chile


Sometimes placed in Rallus, or with P. nigricans, referred to genus Ortygonax. In the past, sometimes regarded as conspecific with P. nigricans. Formerly listed as P. rytirhynchos, but this name is unidentifiable. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. simonsi C. Chubb, 1917 – extreme S of Ecuador and Pacific slope of Peru S to N Chile.
  • P. s. tschudii C. Chubb, 1919 – temperate zone of Peru (S from upper R Marañón) to C & SE Bolivia.
  • P. s. zelebori (Pelzeln, 1865) – SE Brazil.
  • P. s. sanguinolentus (Swainson, 1838) – Paraguay, extreme SE Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina S to Río Negro.
  • P. s. landbecki (Hellmayr, 1932) – C Chile (Atacama S to Llanquihue) and SW Argentina.
  • P. s. luridus (Peale, 1848) – S Chile and S Argentina to Tierra del Fuego (including I Grande); doubtful record from Falkland Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    30–38cm; 3 males 170–213 (197)g, 1 female 233 g. Sexes alike. Very similar to sympatric P. nigricans, which differs in being smaller and having whitish... read more


    Song a series of high, penetrating, rolling squeals “rrueet'e”, “pu-rueet... read more


    Reed-marsh, sometimes of small area, especially around muddy creeks and ponds with much floating... read more

    Food and feeding

    Grubs, worms and insects. Mainly crepuscular, but also active during night, in marsh or adjacent cultivated fields; can also be seen... read more


    Peru, Oct, chicks Jan; Chile, Oct–Jan; SE Brazil, breeding condition Nov; Argentina, Oct–Dec. Recorded as occurring in pairs.... read more


    No definite information, but thought to be migratory over part of range; birds of inland marshes on... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Nominate race, simonsi and landbecki formerly regarded as locally common; past status of others unknown. Current... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2019). Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus). 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).