Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris)* are more often heard than seen. They are named after the clapping-like “kek” sound they make, the soundtrack behind our saltwater and brackish marshes. Several years ago, before the big rehab of the Saltmarsh Center at Marine Park, I had my best view of this species. One kept emerging from the reeds as I sat just a couple of yards away, to forage and carry its food back into the reeds; for its young, I assumed. And now, post-reconstruction of the marsh, I’ve spotted another… barely. Do you see it? That’s a preening Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) there on the right.Let’s get a little closer in this awful light for photography. That’s a Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) in the water in the foreground.And closer still.*Update: in 2014, this species was split into two by the High Lords of Ornithology: the Atlantic, like this one, Rallus crepitant, and the California/Arizona, R. obsoletus.
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This work by Matthew Wills is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.