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 4. As the pond it inhabited at Bosque del Apache began to dry out, the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail tended to spend more time away from the edge of the cat- tails, frequently taking crayfish concentrated in the progressively drying pool (here 10 July 2013). Photograph by Jerry R. Oldenettel. 194 N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S R U F O U S - N E C K E D W O O D - R A I L I N N E W M E X I C O west of New Mexico's Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in captivity In instances of unusual occurrences of birds, prudence requires that the possibility of captive origin or other human transport be considered. During a lengthy information gathering effort, Williams, John E. Parmeter, and other members of the New Mexico Bird Records Committee (N.M.B.R.C.) sought available information on the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail and other wood-rails in captivity, contacting the zoo community, the private aviary community, persons knowledgeable in the caged bird trade (legal or otherwise), and federal and state agencies. The International Species Information System (I.S.I.S.) is a global database of zoo collection holdings. Participation in I.S.I.S. is not mandatory, and not all zoos yet partici- pate, but most institutions in North America and Europe are careful to keep their entries current. Our search of I.S.I.S. found no list- ing for Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, including none in the United States or Canada, where interest in wood-rails appears entirely lim- ited to Giant Wood-Rail (A. ypecaha) and Gray-necked Wood-Rail (A. cajaneus), which are kept in zoos and also by a handful of aviculturists. This indicates that the genus Aramides does well in captivity but that, for te near Xocempich in the state of Yucatán, in deciduous forest some 80 km from the coast, which was then assumed to represent a va- grant occurrence (Paynter 1955). A cursory search, including the online Vert Net data- base (vernet.org) located information on an additional 45 Mexican specimens, all from coastal areas, 42 of which were taken dur- ing the period 29 October–8 April, the other three being two taken 22 May and one on 12 June. The near absence of summer speci- mens from coastal Mexico may merely reflect a seasonal bias on the part of collectors, i.e., avoiding mangrove swamps during the hot- test and wettest months. Rufous-necked Wood-Rail was only re- cently found north to Veracruz, when one was documented in mangroves at Sonteco- mapan Lagoon 13 March 2012, in the rela- tively well-studied Los Tuxlas region (Mon - roy-Ojeda and Isern 2013). This represents a significant extension of the species' known Atlantic slope distribution, but whether it represents actual range expansion, discov- ery of a previously unknown population, or vagrancy, is unknown. The most northerly known populations are scattered along the Sinaloa coast, especially in the vicinity of Mazatlán but including specimens north to El Castillo near Culiacán and to Boca del Río near Guasave, in the vicinity of Los Mochis. The latter site is about 945 km south-south- property, observed that they all disappeared in May and did not reappear until Septem - ber; because these rails are presumed to be vocal during the breeding season, it's unlikely they would be overlooked in summer in the confined island space (see Jones 2002). Jones (in litt.) notes that this apparent absence of coastal records in summer, coupled with the apparent absence of mid-elevation montane rainforest records in Central America in win - ter, suggested such a seasonal movement but cautions that the total records involved were few and that additional study is needed. Mexico Rufous-necked Wood-Rail occurs along Mexico's Pacific coast at multiple sites in Sinaloa (specimen), Nayarit (specimen), Colima (sight record), and Guerrero (speci - men), and on the Gulf of Mexico and Ca- ribbean coasts from Veracruz (sight record), Tabasco (specimen), Campeche (specimen), Yucatán (specimen), and Quintana Roo (specimen), including the offshore island of Isla Mujeres (Friedmann et al. 1950, Paynter 1955, Barrett 1962, Schaldach 1963, Howell and Webb 1995, Monroy-Ojeda and Isern 2013). Williams found no records for sev- eral states within the overall Mexican range, specifically Jalisco, Michoacán, Oaxaca, and Chiapas. There is at least one inland record, a specimen obtained 20 June 1951 at a ceno-

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