Laysan Rail

Zapornia palmeri

The Laysan rail or Laysan crake (Zapornia palmeri) was a flightless bird endemic to the Northwest Hawaiian Island of Laysan. This small island was and still is an important seabird colony, and sustained a number of endemic species, including the rail. It became extinct due to habitat loss by domestic rabbits, and ultimately World War II. Its coloration was essentially a lighter, more subdued version of that of the Baillon's crake, a closely related species from which it possibly had evolved. The face, throat, breast and supercilium were dull medium gray, and the back, wings and top of the head were pale brown with strongly contrasting feather shafts except on the wings. Scapular (shoulder) and flank plumage were sandy brown. The characteristic black-and-white barring of the lower belly and undertail coverts often seen in the genera Porzana and Rallus was much reduced. Feet and bill were a yellowish-olive green, and the iris was ruby red. The sexes were alike; downy young were black all over, with conspicuously long dark legs and a yellow bill, and immature birds had the entire underside colored pale brown.
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