Spotted crake

The spotted crake (Porzana porzana) is a small waterbird of the family Rallidae. The scientific name is derived from Venetian terms for small rails.[2]

The spotted crake's breeding habitat is marshes and sedge beds across temperate Europe into western Asia. They nest in a dry location in marsh vegetation, laying 6–15 eggs. This species is migratory, wintering in Africa and Pakistan.

At 19–22.5 cm (7.5–8.9 in) length, spotted crakes are slightly smaller than water rails, from which they are readily distinguished by the short straight bill, yellow with a red base. Adults have mainly brown upperparts and blue-grey breast, with dark barring and white spots on the flanks. They have green legs with long toes, and a short tail which is buff underneath.

Immature spotted crakes are similar, but the blue-grey is replaced by brown. The downy chicks are black, as with all rails.

The only confusion species is the sora, a rare vagrant from North America. However, that species lacks the breast spotting and has an unstreaked crown stripe.

These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects and aquatic animals.

Spotted crakes are very secretive in the breeding season, and are then mostly heard rather than seen. They are then noisy birds, with a distinctive repetitive whiplash-like hwuit, hwuit call. They can be easier to see on migration.

The spotted crake is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. The Western European population has declined in recent decades, and the species is now a very rare breeding bird in Great Britain.[3]

Call recorded in the UK


Porzana porzana 1 (Marek Szczepanek)


Spotted crake (Porzana porzana) (6830876880)


Porzana porzana naumann

In art

Spotted Crake from the Crossley ID Guide Britain and Ireland

ID composite


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Porzana porzana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 315. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Francis, I.; Stroud, D.A. (2006). "Spotted Crakes "Porzana Porzana" breeding in the UK - a history and evaluation of current status". In Boere. G.C.; Galbraith, C.A.; Stroud, D.A. (eds.). Waterbirds around the world. Edinburgh: The Stationery Office Limited. pp. 491–492.

External links

Australian crake

The Australian crake, also known as Australian spotted crake, (Porzana fluminea) is a species of bird in the family Rallidae. It is endemic to Australia, where its natural habitat is dense reedbeds, shallow open water and mudflats or floating vegetation in fresh or salt water wetlands including lakes, swamps and salt-marsh. Can also be found far from water.

Belvide Reservoir

Belvide Reservoir is a reservoir in South Staffordshire, England. It was built in 1833 to supply the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal, and has been managed as a nature reserve since 1977. It has been used to study the effect of water level changes on bird populations.

Crepuscular animal

Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk). This is distinguished from diurnal and nocturnal behavior, where an animal is active during the hours of daylight or the hours of darkness, respectively. The term is not precise, however, as some crepuscular animals may also be active on a moonlit night or during an overcast day. The term matutinal is used for animals that are active only before sunrise, and vespertine for those active only after sunset.

The time of day an animal is active depends on a number of factors. Predators need to link their activities to times of day at which their prey is available, and prey try to avoid the times when their principal predators are at large. The temperature at midday may be too high or at night too low. Some creatures may adjust their activities depending on local competition. Therefore, for many varied reasons, crepuscular activity may best meet an animal's requirements by compromise.

Dubringer Moor

The Dubringer Moor (Upper Sorbian: Dubrjenske bahno), is a nature reserve (NSG) in the Bautzen district in northern Saxony.

Josefov Meadows

The Josefov Meadows Bird Reserve (Czech: Ptačí park Josefovské louky) is a privately owned, publicly accessible nature reserve next to Josefov Fortress near Jaroměř in the Hradec Králové Region, Czech Republic. Established in 2008, the area is administered and developed by the Czech Society for Ornithology. The wet meadow is being restored with the aim of creating a reserve for birds, as well as other fauna and flora that thrive in wetlands.


Kalnciems (pronunciation ) is a village in the Jelgava municipality of Latvia. Located on the left bank of the Lielupe, 5 km south of the A9 motorway. Distance to Jelgava 24 km, to Riga - 49 km. Because of the dolomite and clay mines - in Kalnciems developed a big building materials industry center next to the Lielupe's waterway and by the end of the 19th century, the finished products were transported to Riga for its new buildings.

It had town rights from 1991 to 2010. The nearby Kalnciems Meadows is a natural habitat for fauna such as the corn crake, spotted crake, and black-tailed godwit.

Kempton Park Reservoirs

Kempton Park Reservoirs are a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the London Borough of Hounslow and Kempton Park in Surrey. It is owned by Thames Water. It is part of South West London Waterbodies Ramsar site and Special Protection Area Kempton Park East reservoir is also a local nature reserve.

List of birds of North America (Gruiformes)

The birds listed below all belong to the biological order Gruiformes, and are native to North America.

List of birds of the Houtman Abrolhos

The Houtman Abrolhos, an island chain off the coast of Western Australia, is one of the most important areas in the world for breeding colonies of seabirds. Around 90 species of seabird occur there, as well as three species of shore bird, and six species of land bird.

Little crake

The little crake (Porzana parva) is a very small waterbird of the family Rallidae. The genus name Porzana is derived from Venetian terms for small rails, and parva is Latin for "small".Its breeding habitat is reed beds in Europe, mainly in the east, and just into western Asia. This species is migratory, wintering in Africa.

At 17–19 cm (6.7–7.5 in) in length, they are slightly smaller than the spotted crake, from which they are readily distinguished by the lack of dark barring and white spots on the flanks. The little crake has a short straight bill, yellow with a red base. They have green legs with long toes, and a short tail which is barred black and white underneath. Unlike other Porzana crakes, this species has strong sexual dimorphism: Adult males have mainly brown upperparts and blue-grey face and underparts. They resemble the sympatric Baillon's crake (P. pusilla), which has strongly barred flanks and is a little smaller. Females have buff underparts, and are grey only on the face; they are more similar to the yellow-breasted crake (P. flaviventer) of the American tropics. Immature little crakes are similar to the female but have a white face and breast. The downy chicks are black, as with all rails.

These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects and aquatic animals. Little crakes are very secretive in the breeding season, and are then mostly heard rather than seen. They can be easier to see on migration. They are then noisy birds, with a yapping kua call. They nest in a dry location in reed vegetation, laying 4–7 eggs.

The little crake is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Lower Moors (St Mary's)

The Lower Moors is a wetland between Hugh Town and Old Town Bay on St Mary's, the largest island in the Isles of Scilly. The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain.

The site is owned and managed by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust and is within the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. First designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in 1971 for its range of wetland habitats; it is an important feeding station for migrating and wintering birds such as common snipe (Gallinago gallinago) and water rail (Rallus aquaticus). In 2007 Cavell Smith found a great blue heron (Ardea herodias); the first confirmed record for Britain. The second British record for great blue heron also occurred on Lower Moor and, was also found by Cavell Smith!

Medni Rid

Medni Rid (Bulgarian: Медни рид, meaning Copper Ridge), also known as Bakarlak (Бакърлък) until 1942, is a ridge in south-eastern Bulgaria. It forms the north-eastern extreme of the Bosna Ridge in the Strandzha Mountains. Administratively, it lies in the municipalities of Sozopol and Primorsko, Burgas Province.

The main orographic ridge extends from the north-west to the south-east with a maximum length of 18-20 km and width of 3-5 km. The north-western extreme of Medni Rid reaches Cape Chukalya on the southern coast of the Gulf of Burgas; to the south-east it reaches the valley of the river Ropotamo, which separates it from the isolated ridge of Kitka Ridge. To the west, the valleys of the rivers Rosenska (a left tributary of the Ropotamo) and Otmanliy (flowing directly into the Gulf of Bourgas) separate it from the small ridge Rosen Bair. The two ridges are connected via a low saddle near the village of Rosen. To the east, Medni Rid descends to the shores of the Black Sea.Its highest point, Mount Bakarlaka (376.2 m), rises in the northern section. Medni Rid is composed by andesite, tuff and plutonic rocks. In its northern part there are copper ore deposits. The climate is continental with significant Black Sea influence. The ridge is drained by small rivers and streams. The predominant soils are cinnamon forest ones. The ridge and its slopes are overgrown with oak, hornbeam and lime forests.On its eastern and western foothills there are four villages: Atia and Ravadinovo to the east, Rosen and Veselie to the west.The south-eastern part of Medni Rid falls within the territory of the Ropotamo Nature Reserve; its northern part is occupied by the Rosenets recreational forest. A 7.21 hectare section of the ridge is designated as a protected area named Bakarlaka. About 172 bird species have been discovered in Medni Rid and the ridge has been declared a site of ornithologic importance. It is an important stop for migrating storks and pelicans after they cross the Gulf of Burgas from Cape Emine in the easternmost Balkan Mountains. Medni Rid is among the nation's foremost nesting sites for middle spotted woodpecker, olive-tree warbler, spotted crake and yelkouan shearwater. There are significant populations of barred warbler and ortolan bunting.On all high points of the ridge — from north to south Atia, Bakarlaka, Lobodovo Kale, Malkoto Kale — there are remnants of Thracian fortresses, built of crushed stone. Methodical excavations were conducted only at Malkoto Kale between 1973 and 1977. Copper, as well as some quantities of silver, had been mined since the second millennium BC. The last copper mine "Rosen" was closed down in 1995.

Portrack Marsh Nature Reserve

Portrack Marsh Nature Reserve is a 50 acres (20 ha)

reserve by the northern bank of the River Tees between the Tees Barrage and the Tees Viaduct, near Portrack housing estate in Stockton-on-Tees borough, County Durham. It is the last remaining wetland on the lower Tees.

The site is bounded by Marston Road, a disused railway line, the Northumbrian Water's waste water treatment site, the River Tees, the Tees Barrage White Water Course, the grounds of The Talpore pub and a Tees Barrage access road.

Ownership of the reserve is split between Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and Northumbrian Water but the reserve is managed by Tees Valley Wildlife Trust.

The reserve in the west and north is mature marsh while there are a series of man–made ponds in the remainder.

The site is at an altitude of 10 metres (33 ft) over datum.


Porzana is a genus of birds in the crake and rail family, Rallidae. Its scientific name is derived from Venetian terms for small rails. The spotted crake (P. porzana) is the type species.

Reedy Lake

Reedy Lake, historically also known as Lake Reedy, is a shallow 5.5-square-kilometre (2.1 sq mi) intermittent freshwater lake or swamp on the lower reaches of the Barwon River, on the Bellarine Peninsula southeast of Geelong in the Australian state of Victoria.

Sora (bird)

The sora (Porzana carolina) is a small waterbird of the family Rallidae, sometimes also referred to as the sora rail or sora crake. The genus name Porzana is derived from Venetian terms for small rails, and Carolina refers to the Carolina Colony. "Sora" is probably taken from a Native American language.Adult soras are 19–30 cm (7.5–11.8 in) long, with dark-marked brown upperparts, a blue-grey face and underparts, and black and white barring on the flanks. They have a short thick yellow bill, with black markings on the face at the base of the bill and on the throat. Sexes are similar, but young soras lack the black facial markings and have a whitish face and buff breast. They weigh about 49–112 g (1.7–4.0 oz).The sora's breeding habitat is marshes throughout much of North America. They nest in a well-concealed location in dense vegetation. The female usually lays 10 to 12 eggs, sometimes as many as 18, in a cup built from marsh vegetation. The eggs do not all hatch together. Both parents incubate and feed the young, who leave the nest soon after they hatch and are able to fly within a month.

They migrate to the southern United States and northern South America. Sora is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, where it can be confused with spotted crake. However, the latter species always has spotting on the breast. a streaked crown stripe, and a different wing pattern.

Soras forage while walking or swimming. They are omnivores, eating seeds, insects and snails. Although soras are more often heard than seen, they are sometimes seen walking near open water. They are fairly common, despite a decrease in suitable habitat in recent times. The call is a slow whistled ker-whee, or a descending whinny. The use of call broadcasts greatly increases the chances of hearing a sora. Call broadcasts can also increase the chances of seeing a sora, as they will often investigate the source of the call.

Tahkuna Nature Reserve

Tahkuna Nature Reserve is a nature reserve situated on Hiiumaa in western Estonia, in Hiiu County.

Tahkuna nature reserve has been created in order to protect areas of forest which have remained largely unaffected by human activity. The nature reserve also incorporates Estonia's largest single habitat of yew, dune forests and mires. A forest trail for visitors has been constructed in the nature reserve. The fauna is varied and home to several nesting birds, e.g. spotted crake and white-tailed eagle. The flora contains several species of orchids; Corallorhiza trifida and Goodyera repens are common.

Tring Reservoirs

Tring Reservoirs is a group of four reservoirs close to Tring on the border of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, England. Their purpose is to feed the Grand Union Canal.

The four reservoirs are: Startops End, Marsworth, Tringford and Wilstone. These reservoirs adjoin each other, separated only by paths and roads; the fourth, Wilstone Reservoir, is a short distance to the west, close to the village of Wilstone.

The reservoirs are a 106.5-hectare (263-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest managed by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.


Willen is a district of Milton Keynes, England and is also one of the ancient villages of Buckinghamshire to have been included in the designated area of the New City in

1967. At the 2011 Census the population of the district was included in the civil parish of Campbell Park. The original village is now a small but important part of the larger district that contains it and to which it gives its name.


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