Yellow Rail: Small rail with pale yellow-striped, dark brown upperparts. White throat, buff breast, flanks, and belly are barred black-and-white. Head has buff face with dark brown cap, eye patches. Bill is short, yellow. Wings are dark with large white patches visible in flight. Short black tail.
Range and Habitat
Yellow Rail: Breeds from the Maritime Provinces to Alberta and the southern part of the Northwest Territories, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Oregon. Migrates along the Atlantic coast to South Carolina and Florida, winters along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas. Prefers wet meadows, and shallow grassy marshes with sedges. Winters on salt marshes, and rice fields.
The Yellow Rail was first described in 1789 by Johann Friedrich Gmelin, a German naturalist.
Their distinctive clicking calls are given almost exclusively at night.
They are very elusive and seldom seen; when approached, they are more likely to rely on camouflage than flight.
A group of yellow rails are collectively known as a "clique" of rails.