King Rail: Large rail with long, orange-based bill. Brown and red-brown mottled upperparts. Underparts are orange-brown with strongly barred black, white flanks. Prominent chestnut-brown patch on wing is visible on standing and flying birds. Feeds in shallow water or mudflats exposed at low tide.
Range and Habitat
King Rail: Prefers freshwater marshes along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts from Texas to New York.
The King Rail was first described in 1834 by John James Audubon, an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. It it is the largest North American rail.
It usually gets its food in aquatic habitats, but will feed on insects away from water. When it catches food on land, it often takes the item to water and dunks it before eating it.
They interbreed with the Clapper Rail where their ranges overlap; some researchers believe that these two birds belong to the same species.
A group of rails are collectively known as a "hill" and a "rumor" of rails.