less than 1 minute read

Coots Rails and Moorhens: Rallidae

Rails And People

Many species of rails have been and continue to be hunted either for food or for sport. Rail eggs are also sometimes collected and eaten. Some species of rails are considered pests because they damage crops. The purple swamphen appears in Egyptian wall paintings and was also considered sacred by the Greeks and Romans.


Flightlessness is unusually common in rails, with 24 of the 134 rail species having lost the ability to fly. All flightless species occur on islands, particularly those where there are no natural predators. Flightlessness may be common in rails because they are weak fliers with a tendency to avoid predators by running rather than flying away. Flightless species usually have smaller wings and stronger legs than species that fly.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsCoots Rails and Moorhens: Rallidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Rails And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE