rail

Rail \Rail\, n. [F. r[^a]le, fr. r[^a]ler to have a rattling in the throat; of German origin, and akin to E. rattle. See {Rattle}, v.] (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of limicoline birds of the family {Rallid[ae]}, especially those of the genus {Rallus}, and of closely allied genera. They are prized as game birds. [1913 Webster] Note: The common European water rail ({Rallus aquaticus}) is called also {bilcock}, {skitty coot}, and {brook runner}. The best known American species are the clapper rail, or salt-marsh hen ({Rallus longirostris}, var. crepitans); the king, or red-breasted, rail ({Rallus elegans}) (called also {fresh-water marshhen}); the lesser clapper, or Virginia, rail ({Rallus Virginianus}); and the Carolina, or sora, rail ({Porzana Carolina}). See {Sora}. [1913 Webster] {Land rail} (Zo["o]l.), the corncrake. [1913 Webster]