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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  (Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe)
See also Crakes, Rails (New 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 Aenigmatolimnas - 1 species

Crake,_Striped  Aenigmatolimnas marginalis  Found: Afica
Image by: 1) James_Hogg - Rwanda
1) Female



Genus Amaurornis
Mostly found in Asia; Black Crake found in Africa

Bush-hen,_Isabelline  also  Sulawesi Waterhen  Amaurornis isabellina  Found: Indonesia
The Isabelline Bush-hen has olive-brown upperparts; green bill; rufous underparts.
Image by: 1) Ariefrahman  2) Sam_Woods


Bush-hen,_Rufous-tailed also Rufous-tailed Waterhen  Amaurornis moluccana  Found: Australia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands
The Rufous-tailed Bush-hen has dark rufous-brown plumage.
Image by: 1) Tom_Tarrant


Bush-hen,_Talaud  Amaurornis magnirostris  Found: Karakelang Island in the Talaud Islands of Indonesia
The Talaud Bush-hen has dark brown upperparts; green bill; bluish-gray underparts.
Image by: 1) Jim_Wardill


Crake, Black Amaurornis flavirostra   Found: Africa
The Black Crake has black plumage; red eyes, legs; yellow bill.
Similar to: Eurasian Coot. Black Crake has yellow bill and no frontal shield; Eurasian Coot has white bill and frontal shield.
Image by: 1, 2) Arno Meintjes   3) Lip Kee Yap 4) Pascal Charbonneau - South Africa  5) Dick Daniels - Bronx Zoo



Crake,_Black-tailed  Amaurornis bicolor  Found: Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam
Image by: 1) JJ_Harrison - Thailand 2) Jason_Thompson - Thailand  3) Dibyendu_Ash - India


Crake, Brown also Brown Bush-hen Amaurornis akool  Found: south Asia
Image by: 1, 2) J M Garg - India


Rail, Sakalava  Amaurornis olivieri  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) Laval Roy


Waterhen, White-breasted  Amaurornis phoenicurus  Found: Asia
The White-breasted Waterhen has gray upperparts, flanks; white face, neck, breast; cinnamon lower belly, undertail.
Image by: 1) John Gould   2) Charles Lam   3) Bhardwaj Shanthanu - India   4) Darren Bellerby - Hong Kong Wetland Park, Hong Kong



Genus Aramidopsis - 1 species

Rail,_Snoring_Rail  Aramidopsis plateni  Found: Sulawesi and Buton of Indonesia
The Snoring Rail has brown wings; rufous patch on hind-neck; white chin; gray underparts.
Image by: 1) Adolf_Bernard_Meyer



Genus Atlantisia - 1 species

Rail,_Inaccessible  Atlantisia rogersi  Found: Inaccessible Island in the Tristan Archipelago (far from Africa and South America)
The Inaccessible Rail is the smallest flightless bird in the world.
Image by: 1, 2) Brian_Gratwicke



Genus Canirallus
Some place this genus in the flufftail family Sarothruridae.

Rail,_Gray-throated  Canirallus oculeus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Totodu74  2) Cyril_Laffargue


Rail, Madagascar Wood-  Canirallus kioloides  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Pete Morris


Rail,_Tsingy_Wood-   Canirallus beankaensis  Found: west-central Madagascar
Image by: 1, 2) James_Williams



Genus Coturnicops
See also Coturnicops New World.

Rail,_Swinhoe's  Coturnicops exquisitus  Found: China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea,
Russia
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) Gilles_Delforge - China



Genus Crecopsis - 1 species

Crake,_African  Crecopsis egregia  Found:
The African Crake has brown upperparts with blackish streaks; blue-gray underparts; black-and-white barred belly, flanks; whitish supercilium; stubby red bill; red eyes.
Image by: 1) Mark_Tittley - South Africa



Genus Crex

Crake, Corn  Crex Crex  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya   2, 3) Dave Curtis - England



Genus Dryolimnas - 1 species

Rail, White-throated  Dryolimnas cuvieri  Found: Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Seychelles
Image by: 1) David Cook - Madagascar  2) Pat and Keith Taylor



Genus Eulabeornis - 1 species

Rail,_Chestnut   Eulabeornis castaneoventris  Found: Australia, New Guinea
Image by: 1) Gracius_Broinowski  2) Tom Tarrant



Genus Gallicrex - 1 species

Watercock Gallicrex cinerea  Found: Asia including Indonesia, Philippines
Image by: 1) Koshy - India  2) Hiyashi_Haka  3) characters



Genus Gallirallus
Many of these rails that live in the Australasian-Pacific region are flightless. The ones that can fly survive better; not only because of avoiding predators but also because they are not restricted to one location.

Rail, Barred  Gillirallus torquatus  Found: Indonesia, Philippines
Image by: 1) John Tasirin - North Sulawesi, Indonesia  2) Francesco_Veronesi - Mindanao, Philippines  3) Ariefrahman


Rail, Buff-banded Gallirallus philippensis   Found: Australasia
Image by:  1, 2) Dick Daniels - Miami Zoo   3) Dick - Kuranda Birdworld, Australia  4) Dick - Kiwi Birdlife Park, New Zealand  5) Oystercatcher  6) HeatherW - Victoria



Rail,_Calayan  Gallirallus calayanensis  Found: Calayan Island in the Philippines
The Calayan Rail has dark brown plumage; orange-red bill, legs. It is flightless.
Image by: 1) James_Eaton


Rail, Guam  Gallirallus owstoni  Found: Guam
Almost extinct. However, successfully bred in some zoos.
Image by: 1) Greg Hume - Cincinnati Zoo  2) Dick Daniels - National Aviary  3) Sandy Cole - National Aviary


Rail, Lord Howe  also  Lord Howe Woodhen  Gallirallus sylvestris  Found: Lord Howe Island off Australia coast
Image by: 1) Glen Gergus  2) Toby Hudson  3) Dracophylla


Rail,_New_Britain  Gallirallus insignis  Found: New Britain Island (northeast of Papua New Guinea)
The New Britain Rail is also called the Pink-legged Rail.
Image by: 1) Joseph_Smit


Rail,_Okanawa  Gallirallus okinawae  Found: Okinawa Island in Japan
The Okanawa Rail has olive-brown upperparts; black underparts with white bars; red bill, legs.
Image by: 1)WJ_McBride  2) Koel_Ko


Rail,_Roviana  Gallirallus rovianae  Found: Solomon Islands
Image by: 1) Salvatore_Chamu


Rail, Slaty-breasted    Gallirallus striatus  Found: Indian Subcontinent, southeast Asia
Image by: 1) Hume and Marshall  2, 3) Hiyashi Haka - Taiwan


Weka also Woodhen  Gallirallus australis   Found: New Zealand
Weka have rich brown plumage mottled with black and gray; large reddish bill; sturdy legs and reduced wings; light supercilium.
Image by: 1) Arthur Chapman  2) Hutty McPhoo  3) Alan Liefting 4) Glen Fergus  5) Sid Mosdell
5) Buff Weka (G. a. hectori)




Genus Gymnocrex

Rail,_Bare-eyed  Gymnocrex plumbeiventris  Found: New Guinea and nearby islands
The Bare-eyed Rail has bare pink orbital skin.
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova 2) Hanom_Bashari


Rail,_Blue-faced  Gymnocrex rosenbergii  Found: Sulawesi of Indonesia
Image by: 1) Sam_Woods


Rail,_Talaud  Gymnocrex talaudensis  Found: Talaud Islands of Indonesia
Image by: 1) Bram_Demeulemeester



Genus Habroptila - 1 species

Rail,_Invisible   Habroptila wallacii  Found: Halmahera in North Maluku, Indonesia
The Invisible Rail has slate-gray plumage; bright red bare skin around eye; red bill, legs.
Image by: 1) Shyamal  2) Paulo_Alves



Genus Himantornis - 1 species

Rail,_Nkulengu Himantornis haematopus   Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Daderot   2) David Fisher - Ghana



Genus Lewinia
Found in: Australasia

Rail,_Auckland_Islands  Lewinia muelleri  Found: Auckland Islands 460 km south of New Zealand
The Auckland Islands Rail has chestnut upperparts; gray breast;  red-brown head; black-and-white barred flanks; red bill.
Image by: 1) Rod_Morris


Rail,_Brown-banded  Lewinia mirifica  Found: Philippines
Image by: 1) hbw.com  2) Desmond_Allen - Luzon
2) Juvenile


Rail,_Lewin's  Lewinia pectoralis  Found: Australia, New Guinea
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova  2) Biodiversity_Heritage_Library



Genus Megacrex - 1 species

Rail,_New_Guinea_Flightless   Megacrex inepta  Found: New Guinea
Image by: 1) John_Gould  2) Marcel_Holyoak



Genus Nesoclopeus - 1 species

Rail,_Woodford's  Nesoclopeus woodfordi  Found: New Guinea, Solomon Islands
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans



Genus Porzana
See also Porzana New World.

Crake, Australian  also Australian Spotted Crake  Porzana fluminea  Found: Australia
The Australian Crake has olive-brown upperparts with black streaks and white freckles; white undertail; dark gray throat, breast; black-and-white barred lower flanks; greenish-yellow bill, orange at base; greenish legs.
Image by: 1) Oystercatcher  2) Tony Morris   3) Frankzed - Victoria, AU  4) David Jenkins - Victoria


Crake, Baillon's  Porzana pusilla  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa, Madagascar, Australasia
The Baillon's Crake has mainly brown upperparts with some white markings; blue-gray face, underparts; yellow or green bill.
Image by: 1) Batupa    2) Frankie Chu  3) Aviceda - Australia


Crake,_Band-bellied  Porzana paykullii  Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Sung_Yik-hei


Crake,_Henderson  Porzana atra  Found: Henderson Island in the southeast Pacific Ocean.
The Henderson Crake has black plumage; red eyes; orange legs.
Image by: 1) p_khoo  2) Orban_Balazs


Crake, Little  Porzana parva  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The male Little Crake has mainly brown upperparts; blue-gray face, underparts; yellow bill with red base. Female has mainly buff plumage; gray face.
Image by: 1) Martien Brand  2) Jan Hoek
1) Female  2) Male


Crake, Ruddy-breasted  Porzana fusca   Found: Asia 
The Ruddy-breasted Crake has brown back; chestnut head, underparts; black-and-white barred lower flank, undertails; red eyes, legs.
Image by: 1, 2) Hiyashi Halso


Crake, Spotless  Porzana tabuensis  Found: Australasia
The Spotless Crake has brown upperparts; dark gray head, throat, underparts; red eyes.
Image by: 1) Oystercatcher  2) Aviceda


Crake, Spotted  Porzana porzana  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Spotted Crake has mainly brown upperparts; blue-gray breast; dark barring and white spots on flanks; short yellow bill with red base; green legs.
Similar to: Water Rail. Spotted Crake has short yellow bill with red base; Water Rail has long red bill.
Image by: 1) Marek Szczepanek  2) Mick Sway 


Crake, White-browed  Porzana cinerea  Found: Australia, Asia 
The White-browed Crake has a black eyestripe with white stripes above and below; black and brown upperparts; gray to white underparts.
Image by:  1) JJ Harrison - Thailand  2) P Henne



Genus Rallina
Found: Asia, Australasia

Crake,_Andaman  Rallina canningi  Found: India
The Andaman Crake has glossy chestnut upperparts; blackish head, neck, breast; green bill, legs; boldly barred belly.
Image by: 1, 2) TR_Shankar_Raman


Crake,_Red-legged  Rallina fasciata  Found: India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malyasio, Thailand
The Red-legged Crake has gray-brown upperparts; red-brown head, neck, breast; black-and-white barred belly.
Image by: 1) Johnny_Wee


Crake,_Red-necked  Rallina tricolor  Found: northeast Australia, New Guinea and nearby islands
The Red-necked Crake has gray-brown upperparts; red-brown head, neck, breast; gray-brown belly.
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova  2) Tom_Tarrant - north Queensland  3) Francesco_Veronesi
1) Incomplete range


Crake,_Slaty-legged  Rallina eurizonoides  Found: southeast Asia, Indonesia, Philippines
The Slaty-legged Crake has brown back; chestnut head, neck, breast; black-and-white barred belly; whitish throat; green legs.
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) TJ_Parpan  3) Jason_Thompson - Thailand


Rail,_Chestnut_Forest  Rallina rubra  Found: New Guinea
The male Chestnut Forest Rail has reddish chestnut plumage; female has spotted upper mantle.
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova  2) Joseph_Smit  3) Jerry_Oldenettel


Rail,_Forbe's  Rallina forbesi  Found: New Guinea
The male Forbe's Rail distinguished from other mountain ralis by its unpatterned lower back.
Image by: 1, 3) Katerina_Tvardikova  2) John Gould
2) Male on left; female on right 3) female


Rail,_Mayr's  Rallina mayri  Found: New Guinea
Image by: 1) Katerina_Tvardikova  2) Salvatore_Chamu
2) Female - upper; male - lower


Rail,_White-striped_Forest  Rallina leucospila  Found: northwest Papua New Guinea
Image by: 1) hbw.com



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 New World.

Rail, African  Rallus caerulescens  Found: Africa
The African Rail has mainly brown upperparts; blue-gray underparts;  black-and-white barring on flanks, undertail; dull red bill; red legs.
Similar to: Water Rail. Water Rail has dark streaks on upperparts; African rail does not have streaks.
Image by: 1) Alan Manson - South Africa


Rail,_Brown-cheeked  Rallus indicus  Found: Asia
The Brown-cheeked Rail has brown upperparts with dark streaks; brown tinged underparts; brown eye-line.
Similar to: Water Rail. Brown-cheeked Rail has brown eye-line; Water Rail does not.
Image by: 1) Edward_Neale  2) characters


Rail, Madagascar  Rallus madagascariensis  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) Marc des Murs  2) David Cook


Rail, Water  Rallus aquaticus  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Water Rail has mainly brown upperparts with dark streaks; blue-gray face, underparts; black barring on flanks; long reddish bill.
Similar to: African Rail. Water Rail has dark streaks on upperparts; African rail does not have streaks.
Similar to: Brown-cheekedl. Brown-cheeked Rail has brown eye-line; Water Rail does not.
Similar to: Spotted Crake. Spotted Crake has short yellow bill with red base; Water Rail has long red bill.
Image by: 1) Jan Svetlík  2) Pierre Dalous  3) Rudo Jurecek  4) Jan Svetlik  5) Cristiano Crolle - Racconigi, Italy



Genus Rougetius - 1 species

Rail,_Rouget's  Rougetius rougetii  Found: Eritrea, Ethiopia
Image by: 1) Kris_Maes  2) Rafael_Medina - Ethiopia





FINFOOTS

 Order Gruiformes    Family Heliornithidae

The Heliornithidae are a small family of tropical birds with webbed lobes on their feet like those of grebes and coots. Finfoots resemble rails; they have long necks, slender bodies, broad tails, and sharp, pointed bills. Their legs and feet are brightly colored and, unlike grebes, they are capable of walking well and even moving quickly on land. They have a diverse range of calls, but do not call frequently.


Genus Heliornis - 1 species

Finfoot, American  also  Sungrebe  Heliornis fulica  Found: Mexico to South America
The American Finfoot has mainly brown plumage; black crown, nape; white throat, chin, extended supercilium; lobed toes banded with dull yellow and black. Female has rufous patch on face.
Image by: 1) Allan Hopkins - Guyana  2) Muchaxo  3) Dave Curtis - Guyana 
1, 2) Female 3) Male



Genus Heliopais - 1 species

Finfoot, Masked   Heliopais personatus  Found: Indian subcontinent, Indochina, Indonesia, Malaysia
The Masked Finfoot has brown upperparts; black mask tapers to black neck streak; sharp bill; green lobed feet; pale breast. Male has black chin; female has white chin.
Image by: 1) Tunpin.ong - Kuala Lumpur     2) probably Joseph Wolf 
1) Female   2) Male



Genus Podica - 1 species

Finfoot, African  Podica senegalensis  Found: Africa
The African finfoot is an underwater specialist with a long neck, a striking sharp bill, and bright red, lobed feet. The plumage varies by race, generally pale underneath and darker on top. The males are usually darker than the females.
Image by: 1) Sias van Schalkwyk - South Africa  2) Lodewijk Nell - Zambia  3) Gip Gipukan  4) Francesco Veronesi - Uganda





Order Gruiformes   Family Sarothruridae - 1 genus

The flufftails are related to the rails. They are found in sub-S aharan Africa and also in Madagascar. They are secretive birds and difficult to observe. The eggs of all species that have been observed are white, which is unusual for rails. Their tails are short and softer than normal.

Genus Sarothrura

Flufftail, Buff-spotted  also  Buff-spotted Crake  Sarothrura elegans  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Bart Wursten - Zimbabwe


Flufftail,_Chestnut-headed  Sarothrura lugens  Found: Africa
The Chestnut-headed Flufftail has chestnut colored head.
Image by: 1) hbw.com


Flufftail, Madagascar  Sarothrura insularis  Found: humid forest of east and northwest Madagascar
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans 2) Lee Hunter


Flufftail_Red-chested  Sarothrura rufa  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Peter_Ginn - South Africa
1) Female 2) male


Flufftail, Slender-billed  Sarothrura watersi  Found: highlands of east Madagascar
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Lucienne Wilma


Flufftail,_Streaky-breasted  Sarothrura boehmi  Found: Louis_Andre_Hansen
Image by: 1) Louis_Andre_Hansen - Tanzania


Flufftail,_Striped  Sarothrura affinis  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Niall_Perrins - South Africa


Flufftail,_White-spotted  Sarothrura pulchra  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Francesco_Veronesi - Ghana  2) Dave Curtis - Kenya


Flufftail_White-winged  Sarothrura ayresi  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) John_Gerrard_Keulemans  2) Clive Kaplan





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