Rufous-Necked Wood-Rail (First ABA Record) — Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM

The newest rare bird to hit the birding community is a rufous-necked wood-rail at Bosque Del Apache NWR in New Mexico. This is the first record of this bird in the ABA area. Even if it weren’t it is still a MEGA bird that is way out of range. Emphasis there on the way. It was found yesterday (July 7th 2013) by Matt Daw.


Rufous-Necked Wood-Rail (Photo by Matt Baumann)


Photo by Matt Baumann

A few points about this bird. One is serious and one is more humorous. We’ll start with the humorous one. The rail was found while the finder was looking through the LED screen on his camera while filming a least bittern. The rail just strolled right through the frame! That video can be found here:

On a more serious note, it is very interesting that Bosque Del Apache keeps on turning up these neotropical rare birds. Case in point is the sungrebe a few years back. I would be curious to know what about this refuge attracts rare neotropical waterbirds.

I will likely not be chasing this bird because apparently driving 26 hours to NM without a license isn’t a great idea, but if you go for it good luck and I hope for your sake it sticks around!

News and information on the whereabouts of the rail seem to mostly be going up on the ABA RBA Facebook group which is here:

Also, the NM/AZ listserv can be found here:

Lastly, an interview with Matt Daw can be found here:

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