Corn Crake

Crex crex

Order

GRUIFORMES

Family

Rails, Gallinules and Coots (Rallidae)

Code 4

CORC

Code 6

CRECRE

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Corn Crake has a large breeding range of nearly 4 million square kilometers. This includes wet meadows and hay fields in Europe, western and central Russia, Kazakhstan, the Caucus region, and eastern Turkey. This species winters in a variety of grassland habitats in sub-Saharan regions of Africa, and has occurred as a vagrant to North America. The global population of this species is between 5,450,000 and 9,720,000 individuals. Although the Corn Crake has declined in the United Kingdom and other areas of western Europe, its population is still large and stable enough in other parts of its range to warrant a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Corn Crake: Medium rail, buff-yellow overall with brown-barred flanks, conspicuous chestnut wing patch, gray head and neck with dark crown, yellow bill. Eats worms, insects, snails, slugs, sometimes seeds and grains. Weak flight with legs dangling, drops back into vegetation after a short distance.

 

Range and Habitat

Corn Crake: Breeds in Europe and Asia as far east as western China, and migrates to Africa for the northern hemisphere's winter. Breeding habitat is grassland, particularly hay fields, and it uses similar environments on the wintering grounds. Very rare fall visitor to the east coast, but sightings have dropped significantly as European populations have declined.

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Corn Crake SONGS AND CALLS

Corn Crake G1

Song is a raspy "crex-crex".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"crex-crex"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Corncrake is a misnomer - birds rarely nest in cornfields. Favourite sites are in long grass and amongst tall weeds and damp places.
  • The "crex-crex" sound of the corncrake has been compared with two cheese-graters rubbed together, producing a sound so monotonous as to qualify the bird as the world's worst singer
  • Towards the end of the 19th century their population had started to decline as machine mowing of hay started. The hay was cut early so that the birds were unable to raise their young.
  • A group of corn crakes are collectively known as a "bowl", "box", and "cob" of crakes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

David Wenzel

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X