Yellow Rail

Yellow Rail credit: Jacques Brisson
Yellow Rail
Coturnicops noveboracensis
NWT List of Species at Risk: 
Not applicable
NWT SARC Assessment: 
Not applicable
Federal Species at Risk Act list: 
Special Concern
COSEWIC Assessment: 
Special Concern
NWT General Status Rank: 
Sensitive
Description: 

The Yellow Rail is a small bird with a short tail, short bill and buff-coloured plumage. The wide dark stripes on its back are crossed by white bars. The white wing patch, which is visible in flight, helps distinguish Yellow Rails from other similar marsh birds. Yellow Rails are rarely seen. They expertly hide in the dense marsh vegetation, aided by their camouflaged plumage.

The unique call of the Yellow Rail is a rapid series of five monotonous and metallic ticks (or clicks) sounding like two pebbles or coins tapped together: tick-tick, tick-tick-tick. Calling can mainly be heard during the hours from dusk to dawn and the sound can carry for up to a kilometre away.

Weight: Males, 60 g (2 oz). Length: 15 to 19 cm (5.9 to 7.5 in).

Report Yellow Rail sightings to ebird.org or NWT_NUChecklist.TNO_NUReleve@canada.ca