The King Rail (Rallus elegans) is a species of bird belonging to the family Rallidae. This species is the largest of the rails found in North America, with a length of 15-20 inches and a wingspan of 25-30 inches. The King Rail weighs between 12 and 28 ounces, with males being slightly larger than females.

The King Rail has several distinguishing field marks that make it easily identifiable. Its body is colored brown with white and black speckling, and it has a long, slightly curved bill that is reddish-orange in color. The bird also has a prominent white patch on its cheek and a rufous-colored neck. Juvenile King Rails have a more muted coloration with a grayish-brown body and a shorter bill.

King Rails are migratory birds, with their breeding range extending from the eastern United States to Central America. During the breeding season, they can be found in freshwater marshes, swamps, and wetlands. In the winter, King Rails migrate to the southern United States, Mexico, and Central America, where they can be found in similar habitats.

The King Rail is a shy and elusive bird, making it difficult to spot in the wild. It is typically heard before it is seen, as it makes a distinctive “kik-kik-kik” call. The bird is also known for its ability to run quickly through the dense marsh vegetation.

The King Rail is an omnivore, feeding on a variety of foods such as insects, snails, fish, and seeds. Its diet changes seasonally, with a higher proportion of animal matter consumed during the breeding season. King Rails are also known to consume small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

In summary, the King Rail is a large rail species found in North America, measuring between 15-20 inches in length and weighing between 12 and 28 ounces. It has distinctive brown and white speckled plumage, a rufous-colored neck, and a reddish-orange bill. King Rails are migratory birds, breeding in freshwater marshes and wetlands in the eastern United States and wintering in southern United States, Mexico, and Central America. These elusive birds are known for their distinctive call and quick running ability, and they feed on a variety of animal and plant matter.

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