The Daily And Seasonalbehavior Patterns Of The Clapper Rail (Rallus Longirostrisj In The Louisiana Coastal Marshes

The objectives of this study were to determine: (I) daily and seasonal movements and activity patterns of clapper rails in Louisiana coastal marshes and (2) their seasonal food habits in different habitat types. We constructed 12 miniature radio transmitters and attached them to clapper rails to achieve the first objective of this study. The period of contact for the instrumented rails ranged from 7 to 47 days. The results of the radio telemetry study indicate that Louisiana clapper rails have an average minimum home range of 168 yards along canals and tidal ditches in the summer and 533 yards in winter. One instrumented rail was preyed upon by a mink. The food habits study on clapper rails collected in the salt and brackish marshes indicated that the bulk of their diet during the summer consists of fiddler crabs. In the winter fiddler crabs become less important while crayfish and snails become more important.

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