The order Gruiformes comprises a diverse group of mostly aquatic or marsh-dwelling birds. Despite their wet habitat, members of this order do not have webbed feet, although in some groups their strong toes are slightly webbed or lobed. Of eleven families worldwide just two are represented in Washington:
This family is made up of wetland dwellers, most with long, unwebbed toes (coots' toes are lobed). Rails are typically elusive and cryptic, while coots are gregarious. Most family members are omnivores and use a variety of foraging techniques. The young are precocial and can walk, swim, and feed themselves shortly after hatching. Both parents help provide parental care for the young.
Two old records, one in spring from Columbia Basin (Adams County), one in fall on Skagit delta (Skagit County).
North American Range Map
|Federal Endangered Species List
|Audubon/American Bird Conservancy Watch List
|State Endangered Species List
|Audubon Washington Vulnerable Birds List