Brown-cheeked Rail

Rallus indicus

The brown-cheeked rail or eastern water rail (Rallus indicus) is a species of bird in the family Rallidae. It breeds in northern Mongolia, eastern Siberia, northeast China, Korea and northern Japan, and winters in southeast Asia. It used to be considered a subspecies of the water rail. The species differs from the slightly smaller nominate form through its paler upperparts, brown-tinged underparts and a brown stripe through the eye. Compared to R. a. korejewi, it is darker above, has a browner breast, white on the throat and a more obvious brown eyestripe. As indicated above, it has different vocalisations to the other forms, and is now usually given full species status, although its behaviour, nest and eggs are identical to those of other subspecies of water rail. The call is quite different from that of the water rail. The courtship call, again given throughout the year, is a sharp piping kyu, longer and clearer than that of the European race. The song is a series of metallic slurred shrink, shrink notes, about two per second, and repeated after a short pause. The eastern race does not respond to recorded announcement calls of nominate R. a. aquaticus.
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