Louisiana Photo Gallery

Louisiana Birds - April 2009

April 2009 -- Digiscoped images by Joseph Morlan

Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris saturatus) 9 April 2009, Grande Island, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. By the time I saw this shy bird I only had time for a couple of photos before he stopped bathing and raced back into the marsh not to be seen again. Some authors lump this bird with its fresh-water counterpart, the King Rail (R. elegans) with which it occasionally hybridizes in brackish marshes. Over 20 subspecies are currently recognized. This is R. l. saturatus which is found along the Gulf Coast and which is darker and browner on its underparts compared to other Eastern Seaboard subspecies. The broad gray edges to the mantle feathers help distinguish it from the similar King Rail. The pale yellow, rather than orange bill suggest it may be a young bird. Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 Nikon FieldScope 3 / 30X WA hand-held (no adapter)
Joseph Morlan