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This highly secretive bird with its chestnut brown and black upper parts and grey face and underparts and long red bill is more often heard than seen.
It lives in roadbeds and wetlands hiding in the vegetation>
They are omnivores and eat small fish, snails and insects.
They are between 23 and 28cm in length
They have a wingspan of 38 to 45cm
They weigh in at 80 to 100g.
Around 1100 pairs nest in the uk.
They are related to coots and moorhens.
Water rails are not often seen in flight as they migrate under the cover of darkness.