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GRUIFORMES

Gruiformes means "crane-like",  The order include 14 species of large cranes, about 145 species of smaller crakes and rails, as well as a variety of families comprising a small number of species.

Guiformes has the following families
Aramidae: limpkin
Gruidae: cranes
Heliornithidae: finfoots
Psophiidae: trumpeters
Rallidae: coots, gallinules, moorhens
Rallidae: crakes, rails
Sarothruridae: flufftails


   Family Rallidae: Crakes, Rails  (New World)
See also Crakes, Rails (Old World)


The crakes, and rails of the Railidae family generally occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. They are omnivores. Most nest in dense vegetation. Most species walk and run vigorously on strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. Some coots and gallinules have a "frontal shield", which is a fleshy rearward extension of the upper bill. The flight of those Rallidae able to fly, while not very powerful, can be sustained for long periods of time and many species undertake annual migrations.


Genus Amaurolimnas - 1 species

Crake,_Uniform  Amaurolimnas concolor  Found: Mexico to South America
The Uniform Crake has dull rufous plumage; dull yellowish-green bill; pink legs.
Image by: 1) Daniel_Lopez



Genus Anurolimnas  Found in: South America
These species all have at least some rufous on their heads and underparts.

Crake,_Black-banded  Anurolimnas fasciatus  Found: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
The Black-banded Crake has brown back, wings; rufoul head, underparts; broad black bars on belly.
Image by: 1) Joseph_Smit  2) Luke Seitz


Crake,_Chestnut-headed  Anurolimnas castaneiceps  Found: olivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru
The Chestnut-headed Crake has dark brown back, wings, belly; rufous head, breast.
Image by: 1) Joseph_Smit  2) Alex_Duran_Torres


Crake,_Russet-crowned  Anurolimnas viridis  Found: South America
The Russet-crowned Crake has brown back, wings, face; rufous crown, underparts.
Image by: 1, 2) Alex_Popovkin - Brazil



Genus Aramides
The Wood-Rails.

Rail,_Brown_Wood- Aramides wolfi  Found: Columbia, Ecuador
Image by: 1) 1) Nick_Athanas 


Rail, Giant Wood-  Aramides ypecaha  Found: South America
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - World of Birds, South Africa  3) Sandy Cole - World of Birds   4) Cludio Timm  - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil   5)  Claudio Timm - Brazil  6) Cristiano Crolle - Esteros del Iberà, Argentina



Rail, Gray-necked Wood-  Aramides cajaneus  Found: Mexico, Central America, South America
Image by: 1, 3) Hans Hillewaert - Costa Rica  2) Just chaos


Rail,_Little_Wood-  Aramides mangle  Found: Brazil
Image by: 1) Dario_Sanches


Rail,_Red-winged_Wood-  Aramides calopterus  Found: Brazil, Ecuador, Peru
Image by: 1) pinterest


Rail,_Rufous-necked  Aramides axillaris  Found: Mexico, Central America, northern South America
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) Jerry_Oldenettel - New Mexico  3) Jorge_Montejo - Mexico


Rail, Slaty-breasted Wood-  Aramides saracura   Found: South America
Image by: 1) Adrian198cm- Curitiba, Brazil  2, 3) Dario Sanches - Brazil



Genus Coturnicops
See also Coturnicops Old World.

Rail,_Speckled  Coturnicops notatus  Found: South America
Image by: 1) John Gould  2) David_Juszczuk - Argentina


Rail, Yellow  Coturnicops noveboracensis  Found: North America
Similar to: Sora. Yellow Rail has more yellow than the Sora does.
Image by: 1) Lisapham  2) Dominic Sherony - Michigan



Genus Cyanolimnas - 1 species

Rail,_Zapata   Cyanolimnas cerverai  Found: Cuba
The Zapata Rail has brown upperparts; grayish-blue underparts; red-based yellow bill; white undertail; red eyes, legs.
Image by: 1) Allan_Brooks




Genus Laterallus
These small, relatively short-billed terrestrial rails are found among dense vegetation near water.

Crake,_Gray-breasted Laterallus exilis  Found: Central and South America
Image by:  1) Nicolas_LeJeune  2) Nick_Athanas 3) PARSEMAIN_Richard


Crake,_Red-and-white  Laterallus leucopyrrhus  Found: South America
The Red-and-whiite Crake is found in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2) Claudio Timm 3) Nick_Athanas


Crake, Ruddy  Laterallus ruber  Found: Mexico to Costa Rica
The Ruddy Crake has mostly bright chestnut plumage with a paler chin and belly; blackish crown; dark gray ear coverts; red iris, legs; black bill; olive-green feet.
Image by: 1) Joseph_Smit 2) Amy McAndrews - Mexico 


Crake,_Rufous-faced  Laterallus xenopterus  Found: Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay
Image by: 1) Salvatore_Chamu  2) jan_veenstra


Crake, Rufous-sided  Laterallus melanophaius  Found: South America
Image by: 1, 2) Claudio Timm - Brazil


Crake,_Rusty-flanked  Laterallus levraudi  Found: Venezuela
The Rusty-flanked Crake is the only crake with red flanks in its range.
Image by: 1) Jhonathan_Miranda


Crake,_White-throated  Laterallus albigularis  Found: Central America, Columbia, Ecuador
Image by: 1) Joseph_Smit  2) Dominic_Sherony  3) Andy_Jones - Costa Rica


Rail, Black  Laterallus jamaicensis  Found: The Americas
Similar to: Sora. Black Rail is darker than Sora. In particular, Sora has a yellow bill and Black Rail has a black bill.
Image by: 1)  Danika Tsao, USGS  2) Thomas Gilbert Pearson


Rail, Galapagos
  also  Galapagos Crake  Laterallus spilonotus  Found: Galapagos
Image by:  1) John Gould  2) Francisco Laso



Genus Micropygia - 1 species

Rail,_Ocellated  Micropygia schomburgkii  Found: South America
Image by: 1) Joseph_Smit  2) Jonatas_Souza_Rocha  3) John_Mittermeier - Suriname



Genus Mustelirallus

Crake, Ash-throated  Porzana albicollis  Found: South America
The Ash-throated Crake has olive-brown streaks on darh back; black tail; light gray underparts; black-and-white barred lower flanks; greenish-yellow bill; greenish legs.
Image by: 1) Elis Simpson   2) Joao Menezes - Brazil


Crake,_Paint-billed   Mustelirallus erythrops  Found: Costa, Panama, South America
Image by: 1) Joseph_Smit  2) Andre_Adeodato



Genus Pardirallus
These rails have a long greenish bill and reddish legs.

Rail, Blackish  Pardirallus nigricans  Found: South America
The Blackish Rail has brown upperparts; gray underparts; black tail; red legs; yellow-green bill with yellow base.
Image by: 1) Nick_Athanas  2) Ben Travener - Brazil 3) Columbia Travel - Columbia
1) Juvenile - rear; adult - front.


Rail, Plumbeous  Pardirallus sanguinolentus  Found: South America
The Plumbeous Rail has brown upperparts; gray underparts; dark tail; red legs; yellow-green bill; blue base of upper mandible, red base of lower mandible..
Image by:  1, 2, 3) Cláudio Timm - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil 4) Nick_Athanas - Argentina


Rail, Spotted  Pardirallus maculatus  Found: Mexico, Central America, South America
The Spotted Rail has black plumage with white spots; red legs; yellow-green bill; red base of lower mandible..
Image by: 1) John Kuelemans  2) Rick Simpson



Genus Porzana
See also Porzana Old World.

Crake,_Dot-winged  Porzana spiloptera  Found: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay
The Dot-winged Crake has brown upperparts with some black striping; white barrring on wings; dark gray underparts with white barring on belly.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Claudio_D_Timm



Crake,_Yellow-breasted  Porzana flaviventer  Found: Mexico, Central and South America, Csribbean
Image by: 1) Hector Bottai  2) Claudio_D_Timm


Sora   Porzana carolina   Found: The Americas
The Sora has mottled dark brown upperparts; blue-gray face, underparts; black and white barring on flanks; short thick yellow bill; black marking at base of bill; black on throat while breeding.
Similar to: Black Rail. Black Rail is darker than Sora. In particular, Sora has a yellow bill and Black Rail has a black bill.
Similar to: Yellow Rail. Yellow Rail has more yellow than Sora.
Image by: 1) Charlie Westerinen - Malheur National Widelife Reserve in Oregon  2) Kelly Colgan Azar    3) Elaine R. Wilson - the Birding Center, Port Aransas, Texas  4, 5) Mike Baird - California   
1) Juvenile  2, 3) Nonbreeding 4, 5) Breeding




Genus Rallus
These are slim, long-billed rails with slender legs. Their laterally flattened bodies are an adaptation to life in wet reedbeds and marshes, enabling them to slip easily through the dense semi-aquatic vegetation. Typically these birds have streaked brown upperparts, blue-grey on the face or breast, and barred flanks.
See also Rallus Old World.

Rail,_Austral  Rallus antarcticus  Found: southern Argentina and Chile
Image by: 1) Joseph_Smit  2) Sebastian_Saiter


Rail,_Bogota  Rallus semiplumbeus  Found: Columbia
Image by: 1) Nick_Athanas  2) Neil_Martinez


Rail, Clapper  Rallus longirostris   Found: North America
The Mangrove Rail and Ridgway's Rail were formerly considered conspecific with the Clapper Rail.
Similar to
: King Rail. Clapper Rail is predominantly an East Coast or Gulf Coast species. In addition to these locations, the King Rail can also be found hundreds of miles inland. The white bars on adult King Rails are more pronounced than on Clapper Rails.
Similar to: Virginia Rail. Clapper Rail are rufous; Virginia Rail are brown.
Image by:  1)  Len Blumin  2) Riverbanks Outdoor Store - Florida  3) Alan D. Wilson - South Padre Island, Texas    4) Dick Daniels - North Carolina


Rail, King  Rallus elegans  Found: North America
Similar to: Clapper Rail. Clapper Rail is predominantly an East Coast or Gulf Coast species. In addition to these locations, the King Rail can also be found hundreds of miles inland. The white bars on adult King Rails are more pronounced than on Clapper Rails.
Similar to: Virginia Rail. King Rail are rufous; Virginia Rail are brown.
Image by: 1) Jim Rathert - Missouri  1, 3, 4) Carol Foil - Louisiana
1) Chick  2) Juvenile  3, 4) Male


Rail,_Mangrove  Rallus longirostris  Found: South America
The Mangrove Rail was formerly considered conspecific with the Clapper Rail.
Image by: 1) Claudio_D_Timm - Brazil
1) Rallus longirostris crassirostris


Rail,_Plain-flanked  Rallus wetmorei  Found: Venezuela
Image by: 1) Ron_Hoff  2) Andrea_Fonseca


Rail,_Ridgway's  Rallus obsoletus  Found: San Francisco Bay, California to southern Baja California
The Rigway's Rail was formerly  a subspecies of the Clapper Rail. It has streaked grayish-brown upperparts; chestnut-orange beast; long down-curved bill.
Image by: 1) Aaron_Maizlish - Oakland, California  2) Len_Blumin - California  3) Paul_Sullivan
1, 2) Juvenile


Rail, Virginia  Rallus limicola  Found: The Americas
Similar to: Clapper Rail, King Rail. Clapper Rail and King Rail are rufous; Virginia Rail is brown.
Image by: 1) Mike Baird - California  2) Blake Matheson - California   3) Allan Hack







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