Clapper Rail Split
As of July 2014, the formerly called California Clapper Rail is now called the Ridgway's Rail. The American Ornithology Union approved this change due to new genetic studies that looked at the relatedness of big rails as described in an American Birding Association blog post.
Mangrove Rail (Rallus longirostris) Ridgway’s Rail (Rallus obsoletus) Clapper Rail (Rallus crepitans)
Recent genetic studies have looked at the relatedness of the New World “big rails”, what we have traditionally known as Clapper Rail and King Rail. King Rail was split into two species, and Clapper Rail into three. (For an article on the different “Clapper Rails” in the ABA Area, check out the Sep/Oct 2013 issue of Birding.) Finally, Robert Ridgway has an English bird name to celebrate his storied contributions to North American ornithology! Ridgway’s Rail includes the “California” (obsoletus), “Yuma” (yumanensis), and “Light-footed” (levipes) subspecies, plus others farther south in Mexico. Any “Clapper Rail” observed in California, Nevada, or Arizona is now this species. The name “Clapper Rail” was retained for the birds on the east coast of the U.S. (this species also extends partially into Middle America and the Caribbean), but its scientific name has changed. Mangrove Rail is thought to be restricted to coastal South America.
Free-Roaming Cat and Other Animal Feeding Prohibition
Beginning May 2008, the University instituted a prohibition on feeding free-roaming cats and other wildlife at the RFS as it was determined that feeding had become a significant source of predator pressure at the RFS. For more information, see the Prohibition on Feeding Free-Roaming Cats.
Ridgway's Rail Videos:
- October 23, 2017 multiple rails calling in Western Stege Marsh
- October 23, 2017 juvenile rail in Western Stege Marsh
- December 9, 2010 Rail Calling at Meeker Slough [external link]
- March 15, 2010 two rail clips (Baxter Creek and Western Stege Marsh) [external link]
- September 17, 2009 rail fledglings in RFS Western Stege Marsh [external link]
- September 3, 2009 rail clatter call at Meeker Slough [external link]
- April 5, 2018 Meeker Slough Rail
- May 1, 2009 rail bathing at Meeker Slough [external link]: On May 1, 2009 UC Berkeley staff working on restoring portions of Western Stege Marsh observed one of these reclusive birds from the Bay Trail at Meeker Slough and filmed it bathing in slough.
- December 10, 2020 rail catching a fish at Baxter Creek in Richmond
- Stege Marsh Ridgway's Rails Sightings (Jan 2020)
- Stege Marsh Ridgway's Rails Presentation
- California Clapper Rail Conservation Brochure
- Army Corps of Engineers Permit with US Fish and Wildlife Service Section 7 Consultation: September 4, 2003 Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, File Number 28135S- Western Stege Marsh Remediation and Restoration (Army Nationwide Permit 38 Authorization)
- For more information on the Ridgway's Rail see USFWS Endangered Species Program Information