African Rail | Rallus caerulescens
The African Rail is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Rallidae bird family group which includes birds such as Flufftails, Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, Swamphens, Moorhens, Coots.
The description for the African Rail (Latin name Rallus caerulescens) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Rallus caerulescens can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 210 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 323. You will find a picture of the African Rail on page 305.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Rail between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The African Rail is known in Afrikaans as Grootriethaan.
The African Rail has a height of 28 cms and weighs around 180 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured red. The Rallus caerulescens has a white coloured throat, red legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.
The male Rallus caerulescens has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is grey
Eyes are brown
Bill is red
Legs are red
Throat is white
Back is grey
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The African Rail is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 6 eggs and they are coloured white.
The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.
The African Rail is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The African Rail is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
It is also seen in flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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