Years ago the Clapper Rail and the Ridgeway Rail were considered the same bird. But not too many years ago, that was changed and they are now considered two different species.
Below is the Clapper Rail, they are found in saltwater marshes and mangrove swamps from the US East Coast down to Central America and the Caribbean.
I found this Clapper Rail foraging in Cherry Grove, South Carolina. A very secretive bird who tends to stay concealed in dense vegetation for most of its life.
Originally these rails were considered one species, but they were split into 3 different species, the Clapper Rail on the US East Coast, the Ridgway’s Rail on the US West and the Mangrove Rail of South America. You can tell them apart by the location that you find them at…
Below is a Ridgway’s Rail, they can be found in Arizona, Nevada and California. The Ridgway’s Rail is strictly a salt marsh bird, occasionally seen in adjacent brackish marshes. Along the lower Colorado River there are some Ridgway’s Rails that live in the freshwater marshes.
Their diet consists of insects, fish and crustaceans, especially crabs. They all forage the same way, by walking in shallow water or on the mud and pick up items from the ground.
Maybe someday I’ll get the chance to see the Mangrove Rail in South America…
Remember to stay healthy and stay safe!