Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Near Threatened

Rouget's Rail (Rougetius rougetii)


French: Râle de Rouget German: Rougetralle Spanish: Rascón etíope
Other common names: Abyssinian Rail

Rallus Rougetii


, 1843,



Affinities uncertain. Monotypic.


Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Descriptive notes

30 cm. Combination of unstreaked olive brown upperparts, cinnamon-rufous underparts and white undertail-coverts unique among African rallids. Sexes alike. Immature paler than... read more


Advertising call a loud, ringing, repeated “wreeeee-creeeeuw”, given during day and on... read more


Ethiopian and Eritrean highlands at 2000–4100 m, where frequents marshy situations in montane... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes seeds, aquatic insects (especially water beetles), crustaceans and small snails. Recorded foraging in open meadows and on... read more


Lays Mar–Oct. Monogamous; solitary nester. Nest is a pad of dead rushes on wet ground among high rushes or in rushes over water. Eggs... read more


None recorded.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Widespread in highland areas from Eritrea to Kaffa (Maji Plateau) and regarded as common to locally abundant,... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2019). Rouget's Rail (Rougetius rougetii). 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 21 November 2019).