Alternate Title

Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris) Studies in Alabama


The habitat and distribution of the clapper rail Rallus longirostris saturatus in salt and brackish-mixed marshes of Alabama is described. A total of 4,490 hectares of habitat is mapped. Smaller units of vegetation are characterized in selected study areas. A comparison of these plant communities and call count data is shown for each locality. Concentrations of clapper rails generally occurred in those habitats with the higher percentage of Spartina alterniflora. A census technique utilizing taped calls is described. Trapping procedures are given for drift fences and funnel traps. Life history data are presented including an early date of April 1 for first eggs in Alabama. Seven stomachs from summer birds yielded remains of Uca and unidentified seed material. R. 1. saturatus was the only subspecies found during winter and summer surveys.