The Buff-banded Rail comprises several subspecies found throughout much of Australasia and the south-west Pacific. It lives in a range of moist or wetland habitats with low, dense vegetation for cover. It is usually quite shy but has become very tame and bold in some Great Barrier Reef resorts.
It is an omnivorous scavenger that feeds on terrestrial invertebrates and small vertebrates, seeds, fallen fruit and vegetable matter, as well as carrion and refuse. Its nest is usually situated in dense grassy or reedy vegetation close to water, with a clutch size of 5 to 8 eggs that are off-white with red-brown and lilac-grey blotches and spots. Some island populations may be threatened or even exterminated by introduced predators.
Size: 28 - 33 cm
Photo: Trevor Pescott, Illustration: Mark Trinham