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Wild About Birds - Illinois Rails, Gallinules, Coots and Cranes!


 Family and Species Gallery

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes - Cranes, limpkins and rails are small- to medium-sized birds with rounded wings. Either these birds are have long legs, long necks and are good flyers or they have small legs, small necks and are not god flyers.
Family: Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots) - Rails, coots and gallinules have a ducklike body shape and size. These birds have a small- to medium-sized, compact body. Both sexes are similar in appearance. The neck and head are small while the legs and toes are long.
     king rail (Rallus elegans) [state endangered]
     Virginia rail (Rallus limicola)
     sora (Porzana carolina)
     common gallinule (Gallinula galeata) [state endangered]
     American coot (Fulica americana)
     purple gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)
     yellow rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis)
     black rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) [endangered]

Family: Gruidae (Cranes) - Cranes are large birds with long legs. Many have red in the facial area. The feathers over the rump stick out in a "bustle." These birds fly with the neck and legs extended.
     sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis)
     whooping crane (Grus americana) [federally endangered]