Rails, Coots and Cranes

This photo album comprises a gallery that features bird portraits of rails and coots (Rallidae) and cranes (Gruidae), see Taxonomy note at the end of this page. I photographed in wetland and garden habitat.

Rails, Coots and Cranes

Rails, Coots and Cranes Notes

The ‘red list 2019’ of threatened species lists the Weka as ‘Vulnerable’ and all other featured species as ‘Least Concern’.

My only crane photograph is the monotypic brolga part of the Gruidae family and native to North and East Australia with a small population in New Guinea.

The Weka (Gallirallus australis) belongs to the Rallinae (long-billed rails and allies) subfamily. It is a flightless bird; the nominate and ssp G. A. scotti have variable plumage with chestnut, grey and black morphs. They are endemic to New Zealand where I photographed both pale and dark forms in scrub near the sea on the West Coast of the South Island.

The gallery displays five species from subfamily Porphyrioninae: Two Old-World crakes (tribe Zapornini); one waterhen (Himantornithini); one purple gallinule and one swamphen both tribe Porphyrionini. The crakes and waterhen were foraging in urban gardens and the gallinule and swamphen in a rural wetland habitat.

The final group of five images belong to subfamily Gallinulinae (tribe Gallinulini): Two coots, two moorhens and one native-hen. All these birds were foraging in a rural wetland habitat.

Rails, Coots and Cranes Taxonomy Notes

Gruiformes comprise five families, members of two feature in the gallery: Gruidae (Cranes) and Rallidae (rails, gallinules and coots). J Boyd Taxonomy in Flux divides Rallidae into three subfamilies:

(a) Rallinae (Long-billed Rails and allies);

(b) Gallinulinae further divided into two tribes: Pardirallini (Wood-Rails and allies) and Gallinulini (Coots, True Gallinules and Moorhens); and

(c) Porphyrioninae divided into four tribes: Porphyrionini (Purple Gallinules and Swamphens); Himantornithini (Bush-hens and Waterhens); Zapornini (Old World Crakes); and Laterallini (New World Crakes).