Clapper Rail #19-3171

Admission Date: 
November 8, 2019
Location of Rescue: 
Alleghany County
Cause of Admission / Condition: 
Unknown/Inappropriate Human Possession
Patient Status: 
Current Patient

Clapper Rail patient #19-3171 was admitted on November 4, after it was kept for an extended period of time after the finder observed the bird unable to walk properly.  Upon presentation, the patient was bright and alert and walking around.  Dr. Ernesto noted some missing secondary feathers on the bird’s left wing, as well as reduced range of motion in the bird’s left hip joint. The missing feathers could have been a result of previous trauma, or inadequate housing while inappropriately kept.  After taking radiographs, Dr. Karra found that the rail had an old, improperly healed injury in its left hip joint.

Prognosis for this patient is fair, and the rail is being monitored for lameness.  Surgery will be considered if lameness continues, otherwise this patient will be evaluated for release.

The bird is currently housed in the Center’s Aviary enclosures, and special habitat considerations have been made for this specific species.  Rails are a very elusive species, and live in marshy areas in tall grasses where they hunt aquatic fish, snails and small crustaceans. 

If you find an injured wild animal in need, please call a permitted wildlife rehabilitator so that the animal may receive immediate care!


Your donation will help provide specialized medical care to this injured waterbird ... and to more than 3,000 patients admitted to the Center this year!


November 13, 2019

Clapper Rail #19-3171 has been doing well and gaining weight while in care at the Center. During the past few days, the rehabilitation staff have noted minor bumblefoot lesions -- an inflammatory condition of the feet -- on the rail’s feet.  This issue can be a complication in captivity because of continued exposure to the rocky terrain in the Aviary enclosure -- material that rails feet are not usually subjected to in their marshy habitat.  Despite bumblefoot being an issue in captivity, it is likely to resolve on its own once the bird is returned to its natural habitat in the wild. 

The staff have been regularly observing the rail’s mobility since admission, and have concluded that the bird’s previous hip injury will not impact potential for release.  This bird is scheduled to be released later this week.