Clapper Rail-Cam Gallery

Once the Tree Swallow-Cam was done, we needed to find a way to continue to use the equipment.  On one of our marsh surveys, a rail nest was discovered in close proximity to the swallow box.  With a little extra wiring and a new camera mount, we went forward to possibly be the first, as far as we know, to create Rail-Cam.  This elusive marsh bird's secret life will be monitored and observed to see if we can add to the body of data explaining Clapper Rail nesting habits.  Join us as we discover the secret world of the Clapper Rail.

Due to the type of nest that the rails construct and the limitation on the camera you will need to look carefully at the cam snapshots to see the rails and eggs. 

Cam began broadcasting on 6/28/08

The Clapper Rail constructs a elevated bowl shaped nest with a ramp entrance.  They weave it among the Salt Marsh Cordgrass, bending the grass to make a protective dome.

The nest contains 11 eggs and was discovered on 6/25/08,  we are unsure how long ago incubation started.

During spring tides when the high tides are at there highest the net-like dome helps to contain the floating eggs from washing away.

Once the tide drops the female returns to incubate the eggs.  The male brings in more grass blades to the female who continues to maintain the structure of the nest.

1st sign of a chick was 7/6/08, the dark fuzzy chick stands out against the gray background.

An egg shell is visible, not yet removed from the nest.

1st chick up in front.

A 2nd chick comes out from behind.

Nest went vacant on 7/11/08

1st recorded sighting 7/17/08

10 chicks visually confirmed, could be one more in the grass

We'll keep looking

Feeding in the creek behind the Site Map display in the parking lot


Losing down,

and growing feathers

Looking like a Rail

Independent immature Clapper Rail 8/23/08

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