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It is a largely terrestrial bird the size of a small domestic chicken, with mainly brown upperparts, finely banded black and white underparts, a white eyebrow, chestnut band running from the bill round the nape, with a buff band on the breast. It utilises a range of moist or wetland habitats with low, dense vegetation for cover. It is usually quite shy but may become very tame and bold in some circumstances, such as in island resorts within the Great Barrier Reef region.
This juvenile lives in my backyard in a grey water garden bed filled with lomandras and other natives with two adults and at least one other juvenile.
This juvenile buff banded rail not only managed to get itself trapped inside my chicken pen but also somehow got itself stuck underneath the hutch. Unfortunately there was no way for me to free it but to handle it ( I can confirm they peck! ). Apart from a few chicken feathers in its beak I released it unscathed!