Rallus, the Latinised form of the French Rale (spelt Rasle in Belon, 1555); our Rail, Dutch
Ral akin to rattle.
Bill longer than head (tip slightly curved) and grooved for two-thirds of length. Nostril in groove nearer base of bill than tip. Forehead of bristly feathers.
Wing short. Second quill longest usually. Remiges twenty-six. No white marks on hack. Tail short. Toes slender and free. Mid toe and claw varying from 1 1/3" to 2 3/5".