Clapper Rail

The Clapper Rail: A Mysterious Bird of the Marshes

The clapper rail (Rallus longirostris) is a bird that inhabits the tidal marshes and salt marshes along the coasts of North America. This unique bird is known for its distinctive call, which sounds like a loud “clapping” or “knocking” noise. In this blog post, we will explore some interesting facts about this elusive and fascinating bird.

Basic Description

The clapper rail is a medium-sized bird with a long, straight bill and short tail feathers. It has brownish-gray feathers on top and rusty-red feathers on its sides and belly. Its legs are long and yellow-green in color, while its eyes are bright red.

Where to Find This Bird

The clapper rail can be found along the coastlines of North America, from Washington state all the way down to Mexico. It prefers to live in wetland habitats such as tidal marshes, saltwater estuaries, and freshwater swamps.


The clapper rail lives in coastal wetlands where it feeds on small fish, crustaceans, insects, plant matter including seeds but also fruits (e.g., blackberries), snails as well as amphibians like frogs or tadpoles! These birds make their nests close to water sources where they can find food easily. They prefer areas with dense vegetation cover such as cattails or bulrushes for nesting sites.


Clapper rails feed primarily at low tide when other prey items become exposed due to receding water levels. Their diet consists mainly of crabs but may include smaller shrimp species or even small fish!

Cool Facts

One interesting fact about these birds is that they have an unusual habit of running through shallow water instead of flying away when threatened by predators like humans! Another cool fact is how they’re able to tolerate high salinity levels in their habitat.

In conclusion, the clapper rail is a unique and fascinating bird that inhabits some of North America’s most beautiful coastal wetlands. Their preference for living in dense marsh vegetation makes them difficult to spot but if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this elusive creature, it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!