Wikipedia:Today's featured article/April 1, 2015

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Invisible rail, adult by Joseph Wolf, 1859

The invisible rail (Habroptila wallacii) is a large flightless rail that is endemic to the island of Halmahera in North Maluku, Indonesia, where it inhabits impenetrable sago swamps adjacent to forests. Its plumage is predominantly dark slate-grey, and the bare skin around its eyes, the long, thick bill and the legs are all bright red. Its call is a low drumming sound which is accompanied by wing-beating. Information on the behaviour of this shy bird, usually shielded by its dense habitat, is limited. Recorded dietary items include sago shoots and insects, and it also swallows small stones to help break up its food. It is apparently monogamous, but little else is known of its courtship behaviour. The only known nest was a shallow bowl in the top of a rotting tree stump that was lined with wood chips and dry leaves. The two young chicks were entirely covered in black down typical of precocial newly hatched rails. The estimated population of 3,500–15,000 birds has a restricted range and is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). (Full article...)

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