120 Baillon's Crake
(Porzana pusilla)


16-18cm. Small. Like Little Crake; told by short primary projection (primary tips reaching only a little bit outside tertials), rather short tail, no red on bill-base, some white loops and squiggles on reddish-brown upperparts, and also, below, more distinct and more extensive dark and white barring on rear body. Sexes similar (male cleaner and darker blue-grey); immature dirty brown below, with no blue-grey.


The Baillon's Crake is a rare breeder in fluctuating numbers in alkali grasslands and marshy meadows slough grass, redtop grass and club-rush. Formerly regular nesting areas were Sárrét in Transdanubia and Hortobágy, but in the past decade confirmed breeding records has become extremely scarce. In wet years, it may occasionally breed sparsely on the Danube-Tisza Plain and in southern Transdanubia. In spring it migrates through Hungary in May-June, in autumn between early August and early September.

120 Baillon's 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