Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Red-necked Crake (Rallina tricolor)


French: Râle tricolore German: Dreifarbenralle Spanish: Polluela tricolor

Rallina tricolor

G. R. Gray

, 1858,

Aru Islands


Up to six races sometimes recognized on basis of size and plumage differences: tricolor of E Indonesia, Australia, New Guinea and outlying islands (normally including maxima of New Guinea and robinsoni of Queensland, Australia); victa of Tanimbar Is (sometimes including laeta of St Matthias I); and convicta of New Ireland and New Hanover. However, individual variation considerable and geographical variation in size not well understood. Treated as monotypic.


New Guinea and offshore islands, Tayandu Is (Kur), Aru Is, Bismarck Archipelago, and NE Australia (N & E Queensland); also spottily in S Moluccas and E Lesser Sundas, where status unclear.

Descriptive notes

23–30 cm; male 143–231 (164) g, 2 females 194, 200 g, 2 probable migrants 109, 115 g; wingspan 37–45 cm. Dis­tinguished from sympatric forest rails by... read more


Territorial call, given by pairs mostly in evening and during night, a harsh, penetrating note... read more


In Papua New Guinea mostly rain forest and swamp forest; also monsoon forest during rains, sago... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly invertebrates, including annelids, oligochaetes, molluscs, crustaceans, terrestrial amphipods, spiders, and adult and larval insects... read more


In Queensland lays throughout wet season, Nov–Mar, with Dec–Feb peak; in Papua New Guinea lays early in rains, Nov. Monogamous... read more


Regarded as sedentary over much of range, but partly migratory in NE Australia, where regarded as... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Little information available on status because birds are typically shy and seldom seen. In Papua New Guinea apparently locally common... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2019). Red-necked Crake (Rallina tricolor). 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).