• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Mangrove Rail - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Rallus longirostris)
Photo by Carlos Henrique
Guaraú, Peruíbe, Brazil, September 2008
Rallus longirostris


A large rail with a long, slender and slightly decurved bill.

  • 33 cm in length, male average 20% larger than female
  • Dull grey-brown upperparts with darker feather centres
  • White loral streak, grey face
  • Whitish throat
  • Tawny-buff breast
  • Black and white barred flanks


  • cypereti paler above and with paler bars on flanks
  • phelpsi is pale but darker on crown and upperparts
  • margaritae is the darkest subspecies with bolder barring on flanks
  • pelodramus is small like margaritae but paler
  • crassirostris is like nominate but darker on head and upperparts and darker and more cinnamon below

Sexes similar.


Found along the coasts of northern South America from Ecuador to Colombia, Venezuela, the Guayanas and Brazil. Also along the Pacific coast of Central America.


Formerly included in Clapper Rail together with Ridgway's Rail.
R. wetmorei, the Plain-flanked Rail, is now considered to be split from R. longirostris.


  • R. l. berryorum - On the Pacific coast of eastern El Salvador, Honduras and northern Nicaragua, probably also in northwestern Costa Rica
  • R. l. cypereti - Coastal south-western Colombia to Ecuador (where rare) and just into north-western Peru (Tumbes)
  • R. l. phelpsi - Coastal northern Colombia (Guajira) and northern Venezuela (east to eastern Miranda)
  • R. l. dillonripleyi - Coast of northeastern Venezuela (Sucre)
  • R. l. margaritae - Margarita Island (Venezuela)
  • R. l. pelodramus - Trinidad
  • R. l. longirostris - Coasts of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana
  • R. l. crassirostris - Coastal eastern Brazil (Amazon estuary to Santa Catarina)


Grassy marches and mangroves.



These birds eat crustaceans, aquatic insects and small fish. They search for food while walking, sometimes probing with their long bills, in shallow water or mud.

This bird is rarely seen flying, which is reflected in the many subspecies found across its range.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2014. IOC World Bird Names (version 4.4). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Birdforum thread discussing the taxonomy of Clapper Rail

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.