Description from AllAboutBirds.org © Cornell Lab of Ornithology with permission
An elegant dweller of freshwater and brackish marshes, the King Rail is a rich buffy bird with crisp stripes on its sides. This largest of North America’s rails is very secretive as it slips through short marsh vegetation in search of crayfish, crabs, and frogs. Its call is a steady series of harsh notes, more staccato than the call of the very similar Clapper Rail. Owing to wetland loss and modification, King Rail numbers have declined 90% in the last half-century, putting the species on the Yellow Watch List.