Lewin's Rails feeding young reported on birdline - Lake Hamilton, Vic

Subject: Lewin's Rails feeding young reported on birdline - Lake Hamilton, Vic
From: Anthea Fleming <>
Date: Sun, 04 Nov 2018 21:28:11 +1100
I am not familiar with Lewin's Rail.  But in another more familiar member of the Rallidae, the Dusky Moorhen, I have seen parents feeding young chicks - and they were also being fed by immature birds, presumably older siblings. I have also seen Eurasian Coots feeding young on weed brought up from underwater.  Purple Swamphens chop tough cumbungi (bulrush) roots with their beaks and feed the starchy juices to their downy young.  I have also seen a Crake (Spotless, from memory) carrying food items to a tussock in which a very young chick was hiding.
So I think it quite likely that Lewin Rails should also feed their young. 

Anthea Fleming

On 1/11/2018 12:27 PM, Peter Shute wrote:
Marion Halliday has reported seeing Lewin's Rails with young (at least 5, possibly 6) at Lake Hamilton via the Birdline Victoria Facebook group. She says one was seen feeding one of the young a worm "a couple of times" on the evening of 29/10/18, and posted a photo of an adult with a worm, side by side with one of the young ones (see attached). The young are at the little fluffball stage.

Has anyone seen this with Lewin's Rails before?

HANZAB says "Role of parents in building nest, incubation and care of young not known", "adults accompany and defend chicks", and that young are "Precocial, nidifugous". Nothing about actually feeding young. I've seen young ones of this size before, but not even associating with adults, let alone being fed.

Peter Shute

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