Medium-sized bird (about 30 cm or 12 in) that is difficult to observe and looks like a small galliform. Plumage in general of chestnut tone, mottled black in the upperparts and reddish ocher in the underparts. Bluish greyish face, throat and breast. Head with ocher forehead and nape. Blue-grey stripe over the eye. Yellowish legs and strong, tapered bill in the same colour. Wings in flight of a uniform reddish tone.
Wetlands, river and riverside
Species of open areas. The Corn Crake prefers natural meadows and fields of cereal crops. It avoids flooded areas.
Bird present in Malaga only during its migratory passage. Very cryptic and discreet. It rarely ventures out of the grass vegetation, where it develops its entire life cycle, so it is very difficult to detect. This species breeds in northern Europe and winters in Africa. Nest on the ground. One laying in mid-May of 8 to 12 eggs. Omnivore feeding. It consumes insects, earthworms, snails, seeds and different parts of plants.
Very scarce species in Malaga. It is considered rare. The last accounts of watchings that are known took place in the towns of Alhaurín de la Torre and Marbella.
Its name in Spanish ("guión de codornices", meaning "guide of quails" in English) comes from the belief that this bird guided the quails in their migrations, which happened because it always came a little before the first flocks of quails to their breeding areas. As it was thought that it accompanied or guided the quails but is larger, it is also known as the "king of quails". Its Latin name is onomatopoeic, referring to the characteristic sound emitted by the species, similar to a ratchet.