North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO2 2016

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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Figure 1. Rufous-necked Wood-Rail at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge south of San Antonio, Socorro County, New Mexico, 8 July 2013. During most of the observations 7-18 July, the bird remained near or within the cattails along the marsh boardwalk trail off the refuge's south loop road, but frequently the bird was not visible at all, hidden in the cattails, from which it could occasionally be heard to vocalize. Photograph by Jeffrey A. Gordon. N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 190 A Rufous-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides axillaris) in New Mexico A Rufous-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides axillaris) in New Mexico SARTOR O. WILLIAMS III • DIVISION OF BIRDS • MUSEUM OF SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO • ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO 87131 • (SUNBITTERN@EARTHLINK.NET) MATTHEW J. DAW • 4721 TARPON LANE • ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA 22309 • (BIRDBOYMATT@YAHOO.COM) Abstract This paper documents the occurrence of a Rufous-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides axil- laris) at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, 7-18 July 2013, which represents the first record of the species for North America north of Mexico. Available range-wide distributional data indicate that this species occurs coastally as well as in interior regions, including in foothills and mountains up to 1800 m, and on offshore islands, with seasonal altitudinal movements likely. The species is unknown as a captive in the United States and Canada and exceed- ingly rare elsewhere. Field encounter On 7 July 2013, about 0745 Mountain Day- light Time (MDT), Daw arrived at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, south of San Antonio, Socorro County, New Mexico for a day of birding. He drove the south loop road to the marsh boardwalk trail, which he surveyed for birds, then hiked the marsh overlook trail south of the boardwalk. As he was returning along that trail, he saw a Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) foraging on a nar- row mud flat at the edge of cattails (Typha sp.) bordering the south arm of the main body of water (this south arm is situated south of the boardwalk). As he had an excel- lent view of the bittern, he began to obtain a digital recording of it as it walked the water's edge. At 27 seconds into the video, a large, distinctively patterned rail walked directly behind the bittern along the edge of the cat- tails. Daw immediately recognized it as some- thing out of the ordinary and followed its actions for several seconds with the camera, then stopped recording and began to follow the rail with binoculars. Shortly thereafter, the rail disappeared into the cattails and did not reappear, at which point he began to make telephone calls to friends, who helped confirm Daw's suspicion that the bird—a

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