Welcome to the Chula Vista Nature Center's Clapper Rail Webcam, made possible by a grant from the AT&T Foundation and the generous support of the Unified Port of San Diego.
This Rail Webcam offers you a rare glimpse into the breeding activities and family life of one of the rarest and most shy birds in southern California - the Light-footed Clapper Rail. What you see depends on the season of the year. Clapper rails at the Chula Vista Nature Center begin making nests as early as February or March each year. It is not uncommon for these rails to have chicks in the months of March through July.
About the Light-footed Clapper Rail
The Light-footed Clapper Rail, Rallus longirostris levipes, is one of the most endangered coastal birds in southern California. Its range is from Santa Barbara, California to northern Baja California, Mexico. There are approximately 23 distinct subpopulations in the United States. The US population declined to fewer than 200 breeding pairs in the 1980s, primarily due to destruction, degradation, and fragmentation of coastal wetlands.
Clapper rails are very secretive and difficult to see in the wild. The Clapper gets its name for the clappering call it makes. A pair of clapper rails will note their breeding territory and status by making a boisterous clappering call. A lonely male will try and find a mate by making a kekk call. And unpaired female has her own distinct call called a kekk-burr.
About the Clapper Rail Breeding & Release Program
The Chula Vista Nature Center and its partners SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service breed clapper rails for release into the coastal wetlands in southern California. So far more than 218 clapper rails have been bred and released into the wild.