118 Spotted Crake
(Porzana porzana)


19-22cm. A bit smaller than Water Rail, which it resembles in general shape and habits. Told by short, straight bill, usually buff undertail-coverts, greenish legs and, in fluttering flight, white leading edge to wing. Close to, shows fine white spotting on neck, breast and upperparts, yellow-grey bill with spot of red at base.


The Spotted Crake's number in Hungary fluctuates from year to year according to water conditions. Breeds in marshes with tussocks and often in wet meadows grazed by cattle. Migrant in spring arrives in the breeding areas between late March and late April, while autumn migratory movements take place between early August and early September in Hungary. A few individuals may overwinter in mild weather.

118 Spotted Crake pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008