white undeitail

An extremely shy hird of swamps and lens, this species gives its presence away with loud, squealing calls. Once in the safety of its preferred surroundings, in or under growing vegetation, it ceases to he timid, but it is uneasy on open ground. Only at night, or in the evening, w ill it venture out into the open in search of food. The long, probing bill picks up aquatic insects, snails, frogs, and other small creatures; it can also be used like a pickax to break the skulls of small birds or mice. Water Rails run rapidly, with their heads lowered, and can swim well.

• NliST A cup-shaped nest of grass at the base of a tussock of reeds, sedges, or grass.

• Distribution

Breeds in Eurasia, N. Africa, Middle East. Some birds migrate south to Middle East and S.E. Asia.

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