Yellow Rails likely arrive in the NWT in the latter part of May and nesting occurs in June and possibly July. Females lay seven to ten eggs on nests built on or just above the ground that are concealed with a canopy of dead vegetation. Yellow Rails nest in marshes dominated by sedges and grasses, wet meadows and shrubby wetlands. Nesting areas have little or no standing water (generally 0 to 12 cm) and the ground is saturated with water throughout the summer. The diet of Yellow Rails is mainly invertebrates and seeds.
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.