Rallus maculatus Boddaert, 1783, Cayenne, French Guiana. Two subspecies recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Rаle tachetй; German: Fleckenralle, Spanish: Rascуn Overo.
10–12.6 in (25–32 cm); 4.6–7.7 oz (130–219 g). 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).
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 wet grassland.
Generally secretive. Gives a distinctive rasping screech “g’reech” and gruff pumping notes. Territorial when breeding.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Invertebrates; also small fish and some plant material. Forages in mud or shallow water.
Monogamous. Breeds mainly June through September. Nest a cup of grass or rushes, low in marsh vegetation, often over water. Eggs two to seven.
Not threatened, though poorly known and overlooked; may be locally common.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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