Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Near Threatened

Santa Isabel Rail (Hypotaenidia immaculata)


French: Râle de Santa Isabel German: Santa-Isabel-Ralle Spanish: Rascón de Santa Isabel

Nesoclopeus woodfordi immaculatus


, 1949,

Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands


Sometimes placed in Rallina or Rallus, or recently, along with closest allies, in Nesoclopeus on account of differences in structural characters. Closely related to †H. poeciloptera, with which may be conspecific; hitherto considered conspecific with H. tertia and H. woodfordi; H. tertia has yellow-horn vs ivory-horn bill (2); dark grey vs greenish-yellow legs (2); white barring on lower flanks and wing edges vs no barring (3); H. woodfordi differs in its black vs ivory-horn bill (3), dark grey vs greenish-yellow legs (ns[2]), pale grey vs black head (3), and many white spots on wing edges and white barring on lower flanks vs none (3). Significant individual variation#R may, however, complicate the situation. Monotypic.


Santa Isabel I (C Solomon Is).

Descriptive notes

30 cm; 410–670 g. Medium-sized, dark rail; flightless. Entire plumage is black or blackish, upperparts with dull rufescent wash, breast dull blackish-grey; some individual... read more


Utters series of “kik-kik” notes, also single “ki” and loud explosive, squeal. Duets regularly... read more


Occurs in mature forest, and also in early successional habitats (within 100 m of a river); found... read more

Food and feeding

Worms, insects, snails, and small reptiles and amphibians; also some plant material, including shoots of taro plants (Colocasia).... read more


Nest purportedly of this species found in Jul; of six specimens, three had enlarged gonads in Jun or Jul. Nest made of rootlets, leaves and... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. In 1980s was thought possibly extinct. Three observations of this species in 1987 and 1988, however, were... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Santa Isabel Rail (Hypotaenidia immaculata). 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 9 April 2020).