Range. - Temperate North America, breeding from northern United States southward.
Smallest of the rails; 5 inches in length. A dark slaty colored bird with white specks, and a patch of dark chestnut on the fore back. This diminutive spe-scies is very hard to find because of its retiring habits, but according to Mr. Brewster it may be located by the clicking sound of its song. Their nests are woven of strips of rushes or grasses, and are well "cupped" to receive the eggs. They are on the ground on the border of, or in, marshy places. Mr. Childs has a fine set of eight eggs, taken by Arthur T. Wyane, at Mt. Pleasant, S. C, June 10, 1903. The nest was located in an oat field. The eggs have a creamy white ground, and are specked all over with reddish brown. Size 1.03 x .75.
Known only from a single specimen, which is slightly smaller than jamaicensis and without the white specks on the back.