Porzana carolina

Order: Gruiformes
Order Description: Rails, Coots, Cranes
Family: Rallidae
Family Description: Rails and Coots

Physical Description:
8-9 3/4" (20-25 cm). Olive brown above with broad black streaks and fine white lines; gray head, neck and breast; underparts barred black, white, and gray; black face extending partly down neck; short yellow bill; yellow feet. Short tail often held cocked reveals white under tail. Immature is browner and lacks throat patch.

Similar Species- Yellow Rail, Virginia Rail, Common Moorhen, American Coot

Rapid descending whinny of very short, shrill dee notes. In spring an ascending ner-wee?

Breeds from southeastern Alaska, east to Newfoundland, and south locally to northwestern Baja California, southern New Mexico, eastern Colorado, southern Missouri, central Ohio, and Maryland. Winters regularly from central California, east to southern Texas and Gulf Coast, and south through Central America to portions of South America.

Found primarily in freshwater marshes, less frequently in flooded fields, sometimes foraging on open mudflats adjacent to marshy habitat. Prefers sedges and cattails where mud and water are deep. Also found in swamps and slough borders.

Eats mollusks, insects, seeds of marsh plants, and duckweed.

Usually nests on ground or vegetation; occasionally builds nest over water. Frequently conceals nest with vegetation. Forages on ground. Departs dense cover mostly in early morning and evening. roostsClick word for definition communally in cattails or other dense vegetation when not breeding.

Both sexes incubateClick word for definition 6- 18 eggs (commonly 10-12) for 18-20 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest within 1-2 days (but may return at night for brooding).

Element Code: ABNME08020
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Photo by Luther Goldman,© 2002
Design by Ean Harker 1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.