Spotted Rail (Pardirallus maculatus)

Spotted Rail

[order] Gruiformes | [family] Rallidae | [latin] Pardirallus maculatus | [UK] Spotted Rail | [FR] Rale tachete | [DE] Fleckenralle | [ES] Rascon Overo | [IT] Rallo macchiato | [NL] Gevlekte Ral


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Pardirallus maculatus LA widespread, also Caribbean
Pardirallus maculatus insolitus Mexico to Costa Rica
Pardirallus maculatus maculatus Colombia to e Brazil south to Peru and Argentina, Caribbean islands

Physical charateristics

Long-billed; blackish brown, heavily streaked white on foreparts and barred on flanks; undertail-coverts white; bill yellow-green with red base. Juvenile duller; three morphs: dark morph (almost plain), pale morph (pale underparts), and barred morph (barred underparts).

Listen to the sound of Spotted Rail

[audio: Rail.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 25 cm size max.: 26 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


P. m. insolitus: Mexico to Costa Rica; P. m. maculatus: Cuba, West Indies, and from Colombia and Ecuador to eastern Brazil and northern Argentina.


Marshes, swamps and irrigated land like ricefields.


Monogamous. Breeds mainly June through September. Nest a cup of grass or rushes, low in marsh vegetation, often over water. Eggs two to seven.

Feeding habits

Feeds on invertebrates, insects, small fish and also pondweeds. Forages not often in the open along water edges, probes in mud.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 2,300,000 km2. It has a large global population estimated to be 10,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Spotted Rail status Least Concern


Sedentary with wide dispersal from breeding habitat. Even rocrded very near human settlements.

Distribution map

Spotted Rail range map


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