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Bird Gallery

Yellow Rail

Yellow Rail
Yellow Rail

© Greg Lavaty

Coturnicops noveboracensis

Family: (Rallidae) Rails, Gallinules and Coots

Preferred Habitat: Shallow marshes, rice fields

Seasonal Occurrence: October through April.

Notes: The Yellow Rail can be locally common in suitable habitat on the coast but it is never easy to find. All rails are secretive by nature, and Yellow Rails more so than most. Their cryptic coloring and small size make them extremely difficult to locate. Their call, a dry tic-tic-tic-tic, is a reliable indicator, but they call mainly at night. Yellow Rails breed on northern prairies. They are listed as a species of highest conservation concern on Audubon's WatchList.  Population trends are very difficult to monitor. Look for Yellow Rails at Houston Audubon's Horseshoe Marsh Bird Sanctuary and Anahuac NWR.
- Susan Billetdeaux