Monday, June 1


Note that these recordings were of unseen birds (except coot).

Clapper Rails grunting at dusk (Apr, NJ).

Clapper Rail tek calls (dusk, April, NJ).

The calls of Clapper Rail and King Rail overlap and so without verification by sight the identification of many calling birds is presumptive. This is a probable King Rail based on the steady, slower pace of the notes over a long period of time, and the fact that it was recorded at a known King Rail site (May, DE).

Two presumed Clapper Rails calling in close proximity, one with a softer,grating call, the other with a tik call (dusk, Apr, NJ).

softer call


A louder grating call (dusk, May, NJ).

A higher-pitched version (Apr, NJ).

Clapper Rails occasionally emit a low soft hoo, which sounds remarkably like a Eurasian Bittern booming. Heard better with headphones. (4.00am, Apr, NJ).

(frequency axis increased)

Hoo followed by multiple birds grunting (Apr, NJ).

King/Clapper Rail nocturnal flight call (kicker call given by females, 2.00am, May, PA)

Virginia Rails have a squeakier grunting call than Clapper Rails, and as with that species, the grunt is often a duet by the male and female. The female call is higher (Apr, NJ).

Single bird grunting (Apr, NJ)

The ti-dik call of the Virginia Rail is thought to be made primarily by unmated males (Mar, PA).

(Apr, PA).

(May, ND)

This call can be heard during nocturnal migration (12.45am, May, PA)

A less obvious example (3.40am, Sep, PA).

The kicker call is apparently made by unmated females in spring. This bird vocalized spontaneously in July; a nearby rail was heard grunting, so I'm not sure what the breeding status was of this individual (July, PA).

A one or two part churr without the introductory notes of the kicker call was also heard by the same bird.

Another example (Mar, PA)

This call by a nocturnal migrant appears to be similar to the last part of the "kicker" call (6.01am, Sep, PA)

Occasionally heard is this staccato call (June, PA)

Sometimes it is more grating (June, PA)

An observed Virginia Rail calling in Scarborough Marsh, Maine in July.

The common call of Sora (8.30pm, April, PA)

(May, ND).

Sora whinny (May, PA).

(May, ND)

Short contact call (Aug, PA)

(migrants,with Killdeer, Sep, PA).

Sora nocturnal flight call (1.42am, May, PA)

The Yellow Rail sounds like a typewriter (May, ND). This bird was one of the highlights of a trip to North Dakota, and was recorded shortly after sunset at a marsh near Towner. It only called for a couple of minutes in the 2 hours we were there.

Spring migrant at Chincoteague WMR, VA (6.15am,early May)

American Coot, calls by several foraging and diving birds (Feb, DE)

Calls by three American Coots(Feb, FL)