Range. - Tropical America, north in summer to the lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, and casually to Florida.
This interesting species has most of its structural characters similar to the Plovers, but has more the appearance and habits of the Rails. They are about eight inches long, the head and neck are black, the body chestnut, and the wings largely greenish yellow. They have long legs, long toes and extremely long toe nails, a scaly leaf on the forehead, and a sharp spur on the shoulder of the wing. Owing to their long toes and nails, they are enabled to walk over floating weeds and rubbish that would sink beneath their weight, otherwise. They build their nests on these little floating islands in the marsh; they are also sometimes made of weeds and trash on floating lily pads. They lay from three to five eggs of a yellowish olive color, curiously scrawled with brown and black. Size 1.22 x .95. Data. - Tampico, Mexico, June 3, 1900. Three eggs. Nest of weeds and drift on lily leaf floating in fresh water pond near town.