Definition of water rail in English:

water rail


  • A secretive Eurasian marshbird with dark grey and brown plumage, making loud grunts and squeals in the breeding season.

    Rallus aquaticus, family Rallidae

    • ‘After some time, a red-beaked water rail slipped from the rushes nearby and scuttled past.’
    • ‘Of greatest interest was the diminutive water rail, a secretive reedbed dwelling bird that is seldom seen and only occasionally heard as it utters its squealing call from the depths of a marsh in the dead of night.’
    • ‘The 47 dead birds were seven barn owls, three kingfishers, a lapwing, a hen harrier, six long-eared owls, nine tawny owls, two kestrels, three green woodpeckers, six little owls, seven sparrowhawks, a water rail and a waxwing.’
    • ‘The group has also managed the wet farmland so winter visitors include snipe, redshank, water rail and common sandpiper.’
    • ‘Another winter wonder at the reserve is the normally shy, secretive water rail.’