In the Yucatan Peninsula, crakes, coots, rails, and gallinules belong to the bird family of rails. At least 12 species call the Yucatan home part or all of the year of the 150 species or so in a worldwide distribution, less polar regions, of course.
In the following poem, composite descriptions refer only to some of those 12 species in the images. I have no Yucatan photographs of any 5-9 inch, short-billed rails, called crakes. Crikey! In the photos some are hunted as game birds in Canada and all are hunted as game birds in the US except the 17” Gray-necked Wood-Rail. Guess it isn’t “de-railed” since it ranges from eastern Mexico to northern Argentina.
HAIL TO THE RAIL
from bantam to Rhode Island Red
Cocked tails (not cocktails)
Short or long bills of
Candy-corn, lipstick red,
Pearly white, mellow yellow,
All with long skinny toes
Red-topped greenish stockings,
Bright yellow boots,
Fleshy brown to orange,
Pale green or
Kinky reddish legs
Cascading rainbow, slaty gray fog,
Black spots and streaks
Plant, insect dining or
Fish, tadpoles, snails, eggs, nestlings
Early morn risers
Forest, swamp or marsh haunters
DON’T MISS THE CHANCE TO RALLY OUTDOORS IN NATURE.
DISCLAIMER: References do not agree on details about this species. Here are my resources: Sal a Pajarear Yucatan Guia de Aves, A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America, Birds and Reserves of the Yucatan Peninsula, http://macaulaylibrary.org/ a website from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Lives of North American Birds, https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/browse_tax.aspx?family=49, http://www.waterbirdconservation.org/plan/draft2/appendix%202.pdf, https://books.google.com/books?id=3mg50wobsOsC&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=Current+%23+of+rail+species+worldwide&source=bl&ots=XJHd_IVHnu&sig=gZOilV_PcdLMkkMjf90V-lUK3xQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0oub-3ZPKAhUG_mMKHRbRBMkQ6AEIKTAC#v=onepage&q=Current%20%23%20of%20rail%20species%20worldwide&f=false, http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2012/oct/21/tips-hunting-snipes-rails-coots-gallinules-and-moo/?f=rivervalley
Cherie Pittillo, “nature inspired,” photographer and author, explores nature everywhere she goes. She’s identified 56 bird species in her Merida, Yucatan backyard view. Her column, published on the 7th and 21st of each month, features anecdotes about birding in Merida, Yucatan and beyond. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved, ©Cherie Pittillo
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