Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Rufous-sided Crake Laterallus melanophaius

  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Rallidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg



Very little information. Rufous-sided Crake forages on the ground, usually in dense grassy vegetation. Sometimes also forages in the open, walking along muddy margins of ponds and lake edges, but always remains close to thick cover. Picks small invertebrates from mud and vegetation. Climbs about in tall grass and small bushes, especially when singing (T.A. Parker, unpublished observations).


Very little information. T.A. Parker (unpublished observations) estimated the territory size as about 0.5 ha or smaller, at a site in southeastern Peru where territories were linearly spaced along marsh fringes of oxbow lakes.

Sexual Behavior

Very little information. Monogamous in captivity (Gronow 1969).

Social and interspecific behavior

Very little information. Presumably is mostly solitary.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. (2012). Rufous-sided Crake (Laterallus melanophaius), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.