Inaccessible Island rail

How did these flightless birds get to the Inaccessible Island? – Well, that’s still a mystery

Brian Gratwicke

These smallest flightless birds enjoy a peaceful life on the Inaccessible Island, far away from snooping humans. Now you must be thinking about how these birds even reached isolated islands without flying or swimming. Recent genetic analysis revealed that these birds’ close ancestors had wings and migrated to this Island.

Wings help birds move away from danger, but the Inaccessible Island was safe from predators. So, there was not much use for wings left for these rails; thus, wings lost their functioning through evolution. Moreover, they make their nest on the ground where both parents participate in fostering the young.


Population est.
Saint Helena (UK)
Official estimate
Tristan Da Cunha

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No