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Little crake


Common name Little crake
Scientific name Porzana parva
Type Waterbirds
Status Migrator

Small bird (about 20 cm or 8 in), similar to a starling. Brown upperparts, wings and tail; belly, throat and face in a slate grey tone. It lacks mottling (difference with the Spotted Crake). Females present sandy tones and a light throat. The undertail is whitish with a dark barring in both sexes. Long and greenish legs, with very long toes. Yellowish bill with a reddish base.


Wetlands, River and Riverside

Where it lives

Species linked to humid zones of stagnant and deep waters, with abundant vegetation on the border of grass and reedbeds. Present in marshes, edges of swamps, lakes and ponds.

How it lives

Bird present in Malaga only during its migratory passages. It breeds at the end of May. Nest among the vegetal border. One laying of 7 to 8 eggs. Very discreet terrestrial habits. The Little Crake usually spends the day among the vegetation and avoiding the open water. It feeds on invertebrates and vegetable matter.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Very rare and scarce bird in the province. Probably it can be watched with some regularity, especially in spring, in ponds and flooded lands of the fertile plain of the Guadalhorce.

Curious facts

Crakes are Rallidae. This family (which includes gallinules, coots, rails and swamphens) is characterized by having long toes on the legs. Relatives of the big cranes, these small birds have adapted to life among reedbeds, which has led them to evolve to get to walk, as walkers on a tightrope, on the stems of marsh vegetation. Their Latin name means "small rail".

Routes where it can be observed
Wintering Summer Resident Migration