Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-necked Wood-rail (Aramides axillaris)


French: Râle à cou roux German: Braunkappenralle Spanish: Cotara cuellirrufa

Aramides axillaris


, 1863,

Barranquilla, Colombia




Coastal Mexico (Pacific slope and Yucatán) and Belize; Guatemala#R to Panama; NW Colombia locally S to W Ecuador and NW Peru#R#R, and E to Trinidad and the Guianas.

Descriptive notes

28–30 cm; male 262–327 g, unsexed mean 275 g. Sexes alike. Only slightly larger than A. mangle, like which has underwing-coverts black, barred white or... read more


Incisive, loud “pik-pik-pik” or “pyok-pyok-pyok”, also described as a yelp... read more


Mangrove swamps, coastal marshes, lagoons and mudflats, and swamp forest; in South America, also... read more

Food and feeding

Eats mainly crabs. Most active at dawn and dusk; seldom leaves dense cover but immatures venture onto open mudflats to catch crabs.


Trinidad, Jul, Oct; Peru, Feb (unconfirmed); Ecuador, Feb. Nest a bowl or platform of small twigs, lined weed stems and dead and green... read more


Presumably sedentary. However, record in New Mexico, USA, July 2013, attributed to vagrancy, while... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Although common in a few isolated localities, generally seems to be uncommon to rare throughout range.

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). Rufous-necked Wood-rail (Aramides axillaris). 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).