Guam rail in exhibit
Scientific Name
Hypotaenidia owstoni
Geographic Range
Formerly found on the South Pacific island of Guam; introduced to islands nearby.
Snails, slugs, insects, geckos (also seeds and palm leaves)
Guam rail in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Critically Endangered Endangered Status Graph - Critically Endangered

More Information

Guam rails are mostly dark brown birds with white stripes on their belly. They are medium-sized at around 11 inches long. Their compact, elongated body helps them move rapidly through dense vegetation.

These birds are secretive and territorial—and relatively silent. They weave shallow nests in thick vegetation year-round. Both parents incubate two to four eggs for around 20 days. Hatchlings leave the nest within a day to forage with their parents and become mature at 15 months.

Did You Know?

  • Rails are a family of worldwide birds related to cranes, limpkins and trumpeters.
  • Guam rails are flightless, but they have strong leg muscles for walking and running.
  • When brown tree snakes were introduced into Guam after World War II, populations of native birds were decimated. The last wild Guam rail died in 1987. However, in 1985, 21 birds were taken from the wild to breed under human care. Populations were reintroduced to Rota and Cocos Island and have become established on Cocos Island; this makes Guam rails the second bird in history to come back from extinction in the wild, following California condors.
Empty Playlist