King Rail
King Rail Photo

General description.

Similar to the Clapper Rail and larger than the Virginia Rail, the King Rail is a freshwater marsh bird of the East.

Breeding habits.

The King and Clapper Rails may hybridize where brackish water prevails, breeding from North Dakota, east to Massachusetts and south to Florida and Texas.

Calls or song.

The King Rail is heard rather than seen due to its loud and deep "bup, bup, bup, bup".

Population and distribution.

Difficult to see, the King Rail hides among the freshwater marsh plants of the interior states. It winters along the Gulf Coast, wandering into salt marshes.

Nesting habits.

This prolific bird produces 10-14 buff eggs, spotted with brown in a nest it builds of grass, woven into a dome.
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