Yellow Rail

Image of Yellow Rail

The small, elusive, Yellow Rail is extremely secretive and difficult to find. Yellow Rails occur throughout Florida during migration and winter in a variety of habitats, ranging from dry prairie and agricultural fields to freshwater marsh. It is unknown how many Yellow Rails actually winter in Florida, due to their secretive nature and the lack of recorded sightings. This species feeds on snails, insects and seeds. Threats include habitat loss and degradation, particularly of coastal marshes. Like other rails, when threatened, it prefers to run rather than fly.

Recommended GFBWT sites:

Panhandle Section

West Section

East Section

South Section


Use our Trip Planning Wizard to find all the GFBWT sites where Yellow Rails can be found.


For more information, including a range map and sound recording, visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website.



Bird's habitat

Yellow Rails winter in Florida’s freshwater and brackish marshes, as well as in tall grasses in fields and prairies.

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