King/Clapper? Rails, Parker River NWR, Massachusetts, June 2004
Rallus elegans (and R. longirostris or hybrid?). This is one of at least two pairs of King Rails that have recently taken up residence at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island. This is the pair in the Bill Forward Pool. There has been considerable debate over whether the female is a King, Clapper or hybrid "Cling" rail. I've labeled it a probable Cling, but I don't really know what it is. Feel free to express your opinion by adding a comment at the bottom of any of the pages.
King Rail is classified as Threatened in Massachusetts and the number now at Parker River is unprecedented in recent years. Yet, tragically, the refuge management is proceeding with plans to destroy the freshwater marshes they inhabit, the only such habitat in the area. For more information and to find out what you can do to save these birds and (hopefully) their descendents, check out the Committee to Save the North Pool.