Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spotted Rail

Spotted Rail is a large rail from Central America, the Caribbean and parts of South America. Like most rails a highly secretive bird, this species is poorly known and patchily distributed throughout its wide range. Neither NatureServe nor the IUCN mention it for Honduras. Mark Bonta & David Anderson's Birding Honduras: A Checklist and Guide (2002), however, do list it for Honduras as a "possible breeder", citing a 1993 thesis by a UNAH student who encountered the species when she made an inventory of the birds of Lago Yojoa.

Today, Oliver and I were surprised to see this individual in the Tegucigalpa zoo. Apparently, someone had brought it in about a year ago. From what we understood, a woman from Tegucigalpa brought it in, although it was not clear where she had found the bird. At the time, the bird was injured, and the zoo's vet operated on one of the rail's legs. Now, a year later, the bird seemed to be in fine condition, perhaps ready for release back into the wild.

Bonta, M. & D. Anderson. 2002. Birding Honduras: A Checklist and Guide. EcoArte, Honduras.
IUCN Red List, downloaded 9 June 2011.

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