Okinawa Rail

The Life of Animals | Okinawa Rail | The bill is large and bright red with a whitish tip. The long, strong legs are red as are the iris and eye-ring The upperparts are olive-brown while the underparts are black with narrow white bars. The undertail-coverts are dark brown with pale bars. Juvenile birds are paler than the adults and are mottled rather than barred white below. The bill and iris are brownish and the legs and feet are yellow-ocher

It is a noisy bird with a variety of loud calls. It is found only in Yambaru, the northern part of Okinawa Island in the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan.  It Occurs from sea-level to the highest mountains at 498 m above sea-level. In winter, some birds move lower down or move a little Further south of the breeding range.

It Mainly Occurs in evergreen broad-leaved forest but also Occurs in marshes, Grassland and cultivated land close to forested areas and water. Itaji (Castanopsis sieboldii) is the dominant tree in the rail's habitat but it also Occurs Among other Such trees as the Ryukyu Pine (Pinus luchuensis). It requires dense ground vegetation as well as standing water for bathing. In the morning, it preens and stretches before dropping straight to the ground.

The eggs are oval in shape and white with reddish, pinkish or brownish markings concentrated at the larger end. The Downy young are black with Yellowish legs and feet and a white bill with a blackish base and tip. The species is classified as Endangered by Bird Life International Because of its small, declining population and restricted range. The total population was estimated at 1.800 birds in 1986. Surveys the between 1996 and 2004 suggested a significant decline to about 720 birds and a northward contraction of the range of about 40%.

Introduced predators Such as cats, dogs and the Small Asian Mongoose Probably have an impact while some birds are killed by vehicles on roads.Trapping is taking place to Reduced predator numbers and traffic calming has been introduced to some areas to Reduced the number of birds killed on roads.

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