Clapper Rail

Rallus crepitans

This medium-sized bird has a body built similar to a chicken. They are gray to reddish in color with dull stripes down their flanks and a long slightly down-curved bill. They are often viewed in salt marshes with an abundance of vegetation. These birds are opportunistic omnivores and will eat whatever is available from crabs to fish and plant matter as they forage along the edges of marshes. They tend to eat fiddler crabs from the marsh and can be seen eating vegetation in the winter. Clapper rails have creative nests as they are often built tall to prevent tidal flooding. The male will start the nest by building a bulky platform made out of marsh vegetation. They are created tall and well camouflage to protect them from the elements and predators. Both the male and female will incubate the 2-16 eggs( they will have 1-2 broods) for 18-24 days. Once the chicks hatch they are ready to leave the nest after 1 day but will be fed by the parents during this time.