Polluela Moteada/Speckled Rail/Coturnicops notatus

Foto: Emerson Costa

Nombre en español: Polluela Moteada

Nombre en inglés: Speckled Rail

Nombre científico: Coturnicops notatus

Familia: Rallidae

Canto: Natxo Arenta

La polluela de Darwinburrito enano (Coturnicops notatus) es una especie de ave gruiforme de la familia Rallidae propia de Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, islas Malvinas, Guyana, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela. No se reconocen subespecies.​

Su hábitat natural son pastizales templados, subtropicales o tropicales estacionalmente húmedos o inundados.

C. notatus

(Gould, 1841)

Speckled rail

The speckled rail (Coturnicops notatus), also called speckled crake, is a species of bird in subfamily Rallinae of family Rallidae, the rails, gallinules, and coots. It is found in Argentina, Brazil, Guyana, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Taxonomy and systematics

The speckled rail shares genus Coturnicops with the yellow rail (C. noveboracensis) of North America and Swinhoe’s rail (C. exquisitus) of eastern Asia. It is monotypic.


The speckled rail is 13 to 14 cm (5.1 to 5.5 in) long and weighs about 30 g (1.1 oz). The sexes are alike. Adults have very dark brown plumage with white spots on their upperparts and white bars on their underparts.

Distribution and habitat

The speckled rail’s core range is southern Paraguay, southern Brazil, eastern Argentina, and Uruguay. It is also found in Guyana and Venezuela and as a vagrant in Colombia. Undocumented sight records in Bolivia and the Falkland Islands lead the South American Classification Committee of the American Ornithological Society (SACC) to class it as hypothetical in those countries. It primarily inhabits dense marshes, swamps, grassy savanna, and rice and alfalfa fields but is also found in the edges of humid woodland. In elevation it ranges from sea level to 1,500 m (4,900 ft).



Some authors propose that the speckled rail is migratory, breeding in the south and wintering in the north. However, there are many records of birds in Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay during the austral winter, and birds in breeding condition have been noted in Venezuela. The SACC does not have breeding records from Guyana but notes it as breeding in the four countries of its core range and in Venezuela.


Almost nothing is known about the speckled rail’s foraging technique or diet. The latter is known to include grass seeds and arthropods.


The speckled rail’s breeding season is mostly unknown; in the south it appears to include December and in Venezuela August. Nothing else is known about its breeding biology.


As of late 2022 xeno-canto had no recordings of speckled rail vocalizations and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library had only two. The species has a «kooweee-cack» call, a whistled «keeee» alarm call, and a high «kyu» whose purpose is unknown.


The IUCN has assessed the speckled rail as being of Least Concern, though its population size is not known and is believed to be decreasing. No immediate threats have been identified. Records are very sparse; the species is assumed to be hard to find but «until further evidence is forthcoming, [it is] best considered genuinely rare.»

Fuentes: Wikipedia/eBird/Macaulay Library

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