Zapata Rail Cyanolimnas cerverai

  • © Allan Brooks

Confined to the swamp of the same name in southwest Cuba, the Zapata Rail is one of the most poorly known birds in the West Indian region, if not the entire Neotropics. It is a mid-sized, moderately long-billed, rail with brown upperparts, bluish-gray underparts, a red eye, yellow bill with a red base, and orange legs. The Zapata Rail appears to be virtually flightless. Given that it is an inhabitant of dense sawgrass marshes, and its voice is not definitely known, it is perhaps unsurprising that there have been very few definitive records of the species within the last decade. However, all of the available evidence suggests a real decline in the Zapata Rail’s population since the millennium, and as a result the species was recently listed as Critically Endangered (the highest threat category) by BirdLife International.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more
Audio needed
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Zapata Rail (Cyanolimnas cerverai), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: