Buff-banded Rail

Habitat: Wetland

The Buff-banded Rail is seen singly or in pairs in dense reeds and vegetation bordering many types of wetlands or crops. It makes widespread use of artificial wetlands like sewage ponds and drainage channels.

Occasionally seen as it quickly dashes between clumps of rank grass, sedges, rushes or other overgrown vegetation. The Buff-banded Rail is often otherwise difficult to observe as it skulks about, concealed by plant cover, though its harsh squeaks may reveal its presence.  The species inhabits a wide range of terrestrial wetlands, as well as coastal beaches, reef flats, sandbanks, and mangroves. It forages on the ground, pecking and probing in mud to catch crustaceans, worms and other invertebrates. Rails on beaches may scavenge along the strandline.

The Buff-banded Rail feeds on crustaceans, molluscs, insects, seeds, fruit, frogs, carrion and refuse. It mostly feeds early in the morning and the evening.

Breeding is poorly known, but the Buff-breasted Rail nests in long grass, tussocks, rushes or crops. It makes an unlined cup-shaped nest of grasses or reeds.

Clutch size is 5 to 8 eggs. Both parents incubate (19 days) and the young will leave the nest within 24 hours. Both parents remain with the young, which usually feed themselves, though the female may feed them as well. Two broods may be raised in some seasons. Breeding season is from September to February.