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#ABArare – Rufous-necked Wood-Rail – New Mexico UPDATED

A Rufous-necked Wood-Rail has been reported from Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (fee) near San Antonio, New Mexico. Matt Daw obtained video of this bird in the morning of July 7 when it walked through the frame as he was videoing a Least Bittern. It was about 25 meters past the “1” sign on the Marsh Overlook Trail. (Click here for a map showing what I believe is the Marsh Overlook trailhead. That is not confirmed right now, so use with caution.)

UPDATE: Other birders are on-site and confirming the identification.

The video will probably be released tonight (July 7). At least until then, this should be regarded as an unverified report. After that, I’m sure there will be questions of provenance.

Video by Matt Daw. The rail comes in towards the end.

There are no previous records of Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in the ABA Area, and it is not shown in the popular field guides to the US and Canada. (Click here for a Google image search for the species.) It is a species of mangrove swamps from Mexico to northern South America. The closest it occurs to the ABA Area is Sinaloa on the Pacific coast of Mexico.

This isn’t the first completely unexpected report from Bosque del Apache. In 2008, a Sungrebe was found here. That bird was photograped and seen by several observers. It was accepted as the first ABA Area record for that species.

More Rufous-necked Wood-Rail at the ABA Blog is here

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John Puschock

John Puschock

John Puschock reports ABA rare bird alerts and manages #ABArare for the American Birding Association. John is a frequent participant in rare bird forums around the web and has knack for gathering details necessary to relocate birds. He has been a birder since 1984 and now leads tours for Bird Treks, as well as for his own company Zugunruhe Birding Tours. He has led tours to locations across North America, from Newfoundland to New Mexico and from Costa Rica to Alaska. He specializes in leading tours to Adak in the Aleutian Islands.
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