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2012-03-09
Smallest flightless bird?


The smallest flightless bird is the Inaccessible Island Rail with an average weight of 30 g and a length of 17 cm.

The Inaccessible Island Rail - Atlantisia rogersi - is endemic to Inaccessible Island, an island in the Tristan Archipelago of the South Atlantic Ocean. This rail is found throughout the Island but prefers areas where vegetation, boulders or other landscape features at ground level provide tunnels in which to shelter and to breed.

Description

A small, dark rail. Dark grey on underparts and dark rusty-brown on upperparts. Short black bill, greyish legs and red eye. Immature is overall brownish in colour with dark eye. Adults show various degrees of white barring on flanks and belly.

Food

It forages in every available habitat including very short vegetation, boulder beaches and marshy areas. Its diet includes Insects, earthworms, berries and seeds.

Breeding

Two eggs are laid between October and January.

Conservation Status – Vulnerable

It qualifies as vulnerable because, although abundant, it is restricted to one tiny island.

 


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