Date: 6/11/18 4:53 am
From: perrier04 via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] The King/Clapper Rail Conundrum
Roughly 40 years ago, I saw my first King and Clapper Rails, near the entrance to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, on Plum Island, in northeast Massachusetts. Excellent, fairly close view of them side-by-side. They then got busy trying to create hybrid rails!

Michael Santner
Westfield, MA

-----Original Message-----
>From: Christopher Loscalzo via CTBirds <ctbirds...>
>Sent: Jun 10, 2018 6:58 PM
>To: <ctbirds...>
>Subject: [CT Birds] The King/Clapper Rail Conundrum
>
>I did some further reading and learned the following: Male King and Clapper
>Rails make very similar "kek" calls as their mating call to attract females.
>The rate of making the calls tends to differ between the two species (they
>are felt to be distinct species, even though they interbreed where their
>ranges overlap), with the Clapper being faster (usually 4-5 keks/second) and
>the King being slower (2-3 keks/second). There is some variability though,
>so the distinction is not foolproof. But, a rapid kekking bird in a salt
>marsh is almost certainly a Clapper Rail and a slow kekking bird in a
>freshwater marsh is almost certainly a King Rail. Similarly, the grunt
>calls that both sexes make to communicate with one another in the marsh
>tends to be more rapid paced in the Clappers and slower in the Kings. The
>kek-burr call that I heard repeatedly in the Q marsh yesterday, that my
>limited knowledge and research suggested was unique to King Rails, is in
>fact a call that is made by females of both species. Apparently, they make
>this call when they've lost their mate and are trying to attract a new one.
>The call is indistinguishable between the two species. So, I will be
>reclassifying the bird we heard yesterday as King/Clapper Rail, species.
>Still a wonderful natural experience and it led to me learning something new
>about birds. Ours is a neverending learning experience!
>
>
>
>Chris Loscalzo,
>
>Woodbridge
>
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This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org
 
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