Head and neck grey, shading on hind neck to tail olive brown upperparts, dusky chestnut breast and underparts. Eye red; bill & legs yellowish green. Sexes similar, but hind neck of female is grey not olive brown and she is slightly smaller.


Diurnal Nocturnal, Sedentary. Appear singly or in paris, They have well-defined territories and vigorously defend them. They are active according to tides, day or night, and can be seen foraging out on mud-flats away from mangroves on very low tides. The presence of the birds is usually indicated by the loud teritorial calls, a booming 'wack, wacka' repeated at a constant rate by both birds periodically throughout the day or night.


Coastal, Dense Mangroves. along rivers and seafront. Also seen foraging in adjacent Monsoon Forest and even Woodlands (I.Morris/Cape Don,NT).Seen singly or in pairs, day or night according to the tide and are very territorial. Extremely secretive and shy in dense mangroves but can sometimes be approached while feeding at low tide on mud flats. A poor flyer but a fast runner, especially through the tangled roots of mangrove forests. They are occasionally observed foraging into adjacent Monsoon Forest or Woodlands. particularly at night.


Photo: Field Island, NT. July 1983 at 01.30 while a pair of Chestnut Rails were foraging along the high tide mark of a beach. This was one of the first photos of this species in the wild. A well-known species to coastal Aboriginal people who dine on them and their eggs when possible.


October to March , one brood per year. Eggs; 4-5 pinkish-white, elongated oval, spot reddish-brown. Nest; large, untidy structure of sticks, bark and seaweed placed above the high-tide level amongst mangrove roots.


Kakadu National Park


Carnivore, Insects, small molluscs, but mainly crustaceans.


Common Name: Chestnut Rail Scientific Name: Eulabeornis castaneoventris
Sub Order: Unavailable Order: Gruiformes
Class: Aves Category: Native
Status: Least Concern Size: 430-440 mm.

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