Welcome to Lincoln Park Zoo’s new web app! Share your feedback

Guam Rail

McCormick Bird House

Did You Know?

  • Rails are a family of worldwide birds related to cranes, limpkins and trumpeters.
  • Guam rails are flightless, but they have strong leg muscles for walking and running.
  • When brown tree snakes were introduced into Guam after World War II, populations of native birds were decimated. The last wild Guam rail died in 1987. However, in 1985, 21 birds were taken from the wild to breed under human care. Populations were reintroduced to Rota and Cocos Island and have become established on Cocos Island; this makes Guam rails the second bird in history to come back from extinction in the wild, following California condors.

Don’t See the Animals?

Why aren’t animals visible at all times? To promote positive animal welfare, we provide animals with choices. They can choose to spend time in areas that are out of public view.


Take an Animal Home with You

Visit Gift ShopShop Online


Scientific Name: Hypotaenidia owstoni

Class: Birds

Diet: Snails, slugs, insects, geckos (also seeds and palm leaves)

Range: Formerly found on the South Pacific island of Guam; introduced to islands nearby.

Endangered Status: Critically Endangered

More Information

Guam rails are mostly dark brown birds with white stripes on their belly. They are medium-sized at around 11 inches long. Their compact, elongated body helps them move rapidly through dense vegetation.

These birds are secretive and territorial—and relatively silent. They weave shallow nests in thick vegetation year-round. Both parents incubate two to four eggs for around 20 days. Hatchlings leave the nest within a day to forage with their parents and become mature at 15 months.

Hold Camera Steady with QR in focus.

We need permission to use your camera for QR codes.

Having Trouble?

Find code numbers below QR codes at exhibits and animals.