Little Crake/Porzana parva

Little Crake/Porzana parva - Photographer: Евгени Стефанов
Little Crake/Porzana parva - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov
Little Crake/Porzana parva - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov
Little Crake/Porzana parva - Photographer: Sergey Panayotov

L 17-19 cm. Breeds in reeds in somewhat deeper water. Most at home in natural reedbeds with some bulrush, open areas and channels. Mostly E European species, rare vagrant in Britain & Ireland. Located almost solely by loud calls.
IDENTIFICATION: 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.
VOICE: male's song is heard at night, a far-carrying (often audible at 1-2 km), nasal yapping ‘kua’, repeated slowly at first, then faster and faster, finally dropping in pitch and becoming a stammer; many renditions left unfinished. female has a short phrase with the same nasal, high-pitched tone, ‘kua-kua-kvarrrr’ (cf. Water Rail).

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