African Rail.. not the steam type..

African Rail (Rallus caerulescens)

Now this is not a bird I see everyday, in fact this is the first time I’ve been able to take a photo of one. So I count myself lucky this time…

Its breeding habitat is marshes and reed beds across eastern and southern Africa from Ethiopia to South Africa. The African Rail nests in a dry location in marsh vegetation, both sexes building the cup nest. African Rails are secretive in the breeding season, but are easier to see than many other rail species, especially in the morning. They are noisy birds, with a trilled whistled treee-tee-tee-tee-tee call.

These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects, crabs and other small aquatic animals.

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African Rail..

39 thoughts on “African Rail.. not the steam type..

  1. What a gorgeous bird bulldog and I for one is also glad you were able to capture these beautiful photo’s. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day! *hugs*

  2. Hi Rob,
    And just the other day we were talking about the R.E.P.S. Bible (Roberts Birds of Southern Africa) The source of your info no doubt, so many great memories of all the hours, spent pouring through that book, in an effort to identify some new sighting. Keep it up

    • Yes Tim how I remember those days when someone mentions them… how lucky were we to have received such an education, (maybe not realising it at the time) .. the Roberts I seldom use now as I can’t afford a new copy and my copy is so old, bent, falling apart, dirtied by condense milk (purchased at the small shop past the Matopos Hotel) .. but that education still comes back in floods and bounds when I really need it and the ability to find easily the birds in the newer cheaper books available today.. apart from the years of following and photographing birds now.. a great hobby that probably stems from R.E.P.S. days… damn we’re getting old my friend, do you realise how many years ago that was.??

    • Thanks Anneli… I suppose I’m at the right place at the right time… or just darn lucky sometimes… you would be amazed at how many times I go out returning without making a single capture… but then that’s part of the fun…

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