After mating, both males and females participate in weaving their grass nests, but females finish the construction and make sure the nest is well-hidden by incorporating nearby vegetation. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the young who are able to walk within a day of hatching. The parents feed the young for about three weeks at which point the young become independent. Young are left alone for several days before they acquire flight skills and officially fledge at around 35 days old. (Ryan, et al., 1989)
Male yellow rails have an average territory of 7.8 hectares which are established within a week of their arrival after spring migration. Females occupy a territory of a much smaller scale, 1.2 hectares, and several females may be encompassed within one male’s territory. ("Yellow Rail- Montana Field Guide", 2011)
short-eared owls, northern harriers, red fox, feral cats, and other mammals that are agile and small enough to catch it. It is also sometimes predated upon by herons and egrets. This species' secretive nature is it's primary method of avoiding predation. remains quiet and stealthy through its whole life, rarely flying or making noise. Its cryptic coloring helps to conceal it in the marsh grass. (Sterling, 2008)is commonly predated upon by
Little research has been done on the environmental role of Aves species like short-eared owls (Asio flammeus) and sedge wrens (Cistothorus platensis). ("Assessment and Status Report on the Yellow Rail in Canada", 2009). It serves as prey for several species and preys upon crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates around the marshes it inhabits. is a specialist in the wetland habitat that it occupies and acts as an indicator of ecosystem health along with other sensitive
Chens caerulescens) populations also put pressure upon yellow rails as they compete for the same resources. ("Assessment and Status Report on the Yellow Rail in Canada", 2009)is a species nearing special conservation concern throughout North America. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has listed it as a focal species and it is recognized as a threatened species in several states and Canada. As migratory birds in the United States, they are protected under the Migratory Bird Act which regulates the collection of this species. Habitat loss is assumed to be the main threat to this species as agricultural development, livestock grazing, and hydrological changes degrade their prime habitat. Other factors such as invasive plants, climate change, and weather catastrophes also play a role in their demise. Increased snow geese (
Amanda Sausen (author), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Rachelle Sterling (editor), Special Projects.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
uses sound to communicate
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
parental care is carried out by males
marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
eats mollusks, members of Phylum Mollusca
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
uses sight to communicate
young are relatively well-developed when born
2009. Assessment and Status Report on the Yellow Rail in Canada. COSEWIC, 1: 3-32. Accessed April 25, 2011 at http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2011/ec/CW69-14-408-2010-eng.pdf.
2011. "Audubon" (On-line). Accessed April 25, 2011 at http://birds.audubon.org/species/yelrai?quicktabs_2=2.
2011. "National Audobon Society" (On-line). Accessed April 04, 2011 at http://web1.audubon.org/science/species/watchlist/profile.php?speciesCode=yelrai.
2011. "Species Profile: Minnesota DNR" (On-line). Accessed April 04, 2011 at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=ABNME01010.
2011. "The Light Footed Clapper Rail" (On-line). Scienceray. Accessed April 18, 2011 at http://scienceray.com/biology/the-light-footed-clapper-rail/.
2011. "Water Rail (Birds)" (On-line). What-When-How. Accessed April 18, 2011 at http://what-when-how.com/birds/water-rail-birds/.
2007. "WhatBird.com" (On-line). Accessed April 25, 2011 at http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/521/_/Yellow_Rail.aspx.
2011. "Wildlife in Connecticut Endangered and Threatened Species Series" (On-line). Accessed April 25, 2011 at http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/outreach/fact_sheets/brail.pdf.
2011. "Yellow Rail, Identification, All About Birds- Cornell Lab of Ornithology" (On-line). Accessed April 04, 2011 at http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Yellow_Rail/id.
2011. "Yellow Rail- Montana Field Guide" (On-line). Accessed April 04, 2011 at http://fieldguide.mt.gov/detail_ABNME01010.aspx.
2011. "mt.gov" (On-line). Accessed April 25, 2011 at http://fieldguide.mt.gov/detail_ABNME01010.aspx.
2011. "what-when-how" (On-line). Accessed April 25, 2011 at http://what-when-how.com/birds/water-rail-birds/.
Campbell, W. 1990. The Birds of British Columbia: Nonpasserines. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.
Ryan, P., B. Watkins, R. Siegfried. 1989. Morphometrics, metabolic rate, and body temperature of the smallest flightless bird: The Inaccessible Island Rail. The Condor, 91: 465-467.
Sterling, J. 2008. Species Accounts: Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis). Studies of Western Birds, 1: 163-166.