Copyright 2000-2014 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved.

King Rail Rallus elegans

The King Rail is the largest North American Rail.  They breed in marshes in eastern North America, from the Atlantic coast to the Great Plains and from the Gulf of Mexico to southern Canada.  This Rail will interbreed with the Clapper Rail where their ranges overlap.  Birds along the southeastern coast of the United States are permanent residents.  Other birds migrate to the southern United States and Mexico during the winter months.

This species is an uncommon resident of Florida’s freshwater marshes.  Although it occurs throughout most of Florida, it is more widespread in the central and southern portion of the peninsula, especially in the St. John’s River marshes and the Everglades.  They usually nest during the February-June time frame.