Saturday, August 4, 2012

Clapper Rail

Clapper Rail is found in salt marshes and mangrove swamps from the northern United States south to Peru and Brazil, but little is known about its distribution in Latin America (Rush et al. 2012). eBird does not show it for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras or Nicaragua, and neither do Howell & Webb (1995). Burt Monroe (1968) did not report the species for Honduras either.

I found two adults tending two very young chicks in a salinera in southern Honduras today. I actually first spotted the chicks, little black fluffy things on large feet, before I saw the parents. They looked like they were perhaps less than a week old.

I was not searching for this species, and I obviously lucked into seeing them. They tried to stay under cover of the mangrove vegetation and were difficult to photograph. When the parents became aware of my presence, one of them briefly vocalized, which I was able to record:

Honduran friends tell me there have been two previous reports from Honduras.

Cited literature
Howell, S. N. G. and S. Webb. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, UK.
Monroe, B. L. 1968. A Distributional Survey of the Birds of Honduras. Ornithological Monographs No. 7. American Ornithologists' Union. 
Rush, Scott A., Karen F. Gaines, William R. Eddleman and Courtney J. Conway. 2012. Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online:

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