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Sarothruridae – Flufftails

White-spotted Flufftail in Ghana: Photo by Tony Palliser

Sarothruridae is a family of small, elusive birds known as flufftails, found in Africa and Madagascar. These ground-dwelling birds favor dense, moist habitats such as swamps and rainforests, where their secretive nature and cryptic plumage help them blend in with their surroundings. Flufftails are difficult to observe in the wild due to their preference for cover, but they can be identified by their distinctive calls. Explore our guide to learn more about the various species in this intriguing family, their habitats, and their behaviors.

Overview of Sarothruridae

Sarothruridae, or flufftails, are small birds from sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar that resemble rails but are more closely related to finfoots. They are elusive and among the least understood birds, often darting quickly in and out of dense vegetation. Their tiny, scattered ranges suggest possible migrations and undiscovered populations across Africa. With recent insights into their unique evolutionary history, we may soon uncover more about their intriguing lives.