Buff-banded Rail

Species: Gallirallus philippensis

(Birds of Drouin booklet P76)


Size 290-320mm

Sexes similar. Russet crown flecked olive. Grey-white face with a white eyebrow and a tan stripe through the eye. Red eye. Upperparts olive brown mottled black and spotted white. Chestnut nape. Throat, chest and belly grey with dark bands. Distinctive buff band across the chest.


Normally silent. High-pitched ‘cheeps’. Territorial ‘coo-aw-oo-aw-oo-aw’.  

(credit xeno-canto.org)


(Map credit: ala.org.au)

Coastal wetlands around parts of the mainland, principally Vic, NSW and s Qld. Vagrant in Tas. Sedentary, dispersive.


Breeds September-January. Cup of grass and reeds at the base of a tussock or sedge.


A ground dwelling bird that inhabits dense, tussocky vegetation around swamps, lagoons and wetlands. Feeds on insects and molluscs found on wet ground. If flushed, it runs for cover rather than flying.