119 Little Crake
(Porzana parva)


17-19cm. Small. Like Baillon’s Crake; differs in long primary projection, rather long tail, in adult male touch of red at base of bill, no white markings above or, on younger birds, some white streaks or spots (not loops and squiggles), along with restricted barring on rear body. Sexes differ: a blue-grey below, female buffy grey-white with a hint of blue-grey on head. Immature like female but has strikingly whiter face and underparts, with more extensive barring on body-sides; told from young Baillon’s by longer primary projection.


The Little Crake is fairly common breeder in Hungary in reedbeds and reed-mace marshes around lakes, fishponds and reservoirs. Migrant. On spring passage turns up between late March and late April, in autumn between late July and mid-September in Hungary. In the past two decades its spring arrival has shifted to earlier dates, while in autumn it leaves later, and in mild weather a few individuals overwinter.

 Little 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