Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Buff-banded rail

Gallirallus philippensis

Photo by Toby Hudson (Wikipedia)

Common name:
buff-banded rail (en); frango-d'água-de-colar (pt); râle tiklin (fr); rascón filipino (es); bindenralle (de)

Order Gruiformes
Family Rallidae

This species is found from the Philippines and eastern Indonesia, through New Guinea and into Melanesia and western Polynesia as far east as Samoa and the island of Niue. Also in eastern and south-western Australia and northern New Zealand.

These birds are 25-33 cm long and weigh 130 g.

The buff-banded rail is found in dense reedbeds and other vegetation bordering different types of wetlands such as marshes, swamps, lakes, saltpans, rivers, estuaries, lagoons, mangroves, saltmarshes and mudflats. They also use grasslands and crops and artifical wetlands such as sewage ponds and drainage channels.

They are omnivorous, taking various crustaceans, molluscs, insects and frogs, as well as seeds, fallen fruits and other vegetable matter. They also consume carrion and refuse frequently.

Buff-banded rails can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. the nest in an unlined cup made of grasses and reeds, placed among dense vegetation such as long grasses, reeds, rushes, scrubs, crops or trees. The female lays 4-8 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 18-19 days. The chicks can leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching and are soon able to feed themselves, but remain with both parents until they are able to fly, about 2 months after hatching. Each pair can raise 1-2 broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as widespread in Australia. The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends.

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