Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Birds in the Bay Area: The Elusive Clapper Rail

December 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Nature

If you’ve ever been lucky (or patient) enough to see one of these elusive birds, you know how special they are!

Photos and notes from Len Blumin: Two shots of the same bird, taken on the same day the video was shot. Most Clapper Rails I have seen have very warm orange color on the neck and breast, with orange wash on the cheeks. This individual seems to have concentrated all its orange in the bill, leaving only  faint wash of orange on the breast. Perhaps this is a first year (hatch year) individual, yet to show full adult color.   Or maybe it flew in from the Gulf Coast to get away from the oil, as that population is distinctly grayer. Just kidding, of course, as these birds are not real fond of flying, but in fact some birds along the eastern seaboard are migratory.

The bright orange bill hints that this individual may be a male. Males are up to 20% larger, but of course we have no gauge for size in the field.

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