AvianDiversity » A Connoisseur's Eye » Birds » Rails, Crakes and Coots » Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus - Linnaeus 1758)

Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus - Linnaeus 1758)


Water Rail is a secretive bird, more often heard than seen. Water Rail has very peculiar call, a kind of pig-like screams, grunts and squeals given in explosive series “groo-groo-gruuueeit-gruit-groo-gru…”
This call is often uttered at dawn and dusk or when the bird is surprised by something, noise or intruder. Water Rail frequents thick reedbeds and marshes, and numerous kinds of wet habitats with aquatic vegetation and slow-moving water. It often forages in muddy soils and it is frequently hidden in small or narrow wet areas within other type of habitat.
This species breeds in reedbeds, swamps with emergent vegetation, marshes and fringes of open water, floating islands, rice fields and ponds. It frequents both fresh and saline water.
During the migration, Water Rail frequents all kinds of wet habitats.