The little crake (Zapornia parva) is a small water bird belonging to the crake and rail family, Rallidae. The little crake is monotypic species and earlier it was included under the genus Porzana. It is distributed in Europe, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and northwest China. Wintering populations are found in Africa, India, Pakistan, Arabia and Mediterranean countries
Taxonomy of Little crake
- Scientific Name: Zapornia parva
- Common Name: Little crake
- French: Marouette poussin; German: Kleines Sumpfhuhn; Spanish: Polluela bastarda;
- Other names: Rallus parvus Scopoli, 1769; Porzana parva (Scopoli, 1769);
- Family: Rallidae › Gruiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Species author: (Scopoli, 1769)
DescriptionThe little crake is a small bird measuring 18 to 20 cm. The male crake weighs around 30 to 70 grams and the female weighs 35 to 65 grams. There is marked sexual dimorphism in plumage in these birds. These birds have brown upperparts with a few black streaks and spots. The male crake has blue-gray face and underparts. The eyes are red. In the female only the face is gray and the underparts are pale buff. The little crake has a short, straight, yellowish green bill with a reddish base. The long legs and toes are greenish. Their short tail is barred black and white on the under side. Their call is a loud, barking “quack” or "kua" sound.
|Birds of India - Little crake (female) - Zapornia parva|
|Indian birds - Little crake - Zapornia parva|
|Birds of India - Little crake - Zapornia parva|
HabitatThe breeding little crake species inhabit temperate lowlands and steppe zones, eutrophic freshwater wetlands, margins of lakes, rivers, small pools, inundated floodplains, marshes, flooded forests and flooded paddy-fields. The wintering birds are mainly seen in reedbeds, flooded rice-fields and flooded grasslands.
Feeding habitsThese crake species feed on invertebrates, aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, worms and mollusks. It also feeds on seeds, grass, shoots and berries.
BreedingThe little crake breeds during May to August in Europe and other northern breeding grounds. The males are monogamous. However the pair bonding lasts only for that particular breeding season. The nest is built with plant matter near or on water. The clutch consists of 4 to 6 eggs.
DistributionThese crake species are distributed in Europe, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and northwest China. Wintering populations are found in Africa, India, Pakistan, Arabia and Mediterranean countries.
Movement and migration PatternsThe little crake species are fully migratory, moving to the wintering grounds during October and November. They return to the breeding grounds in early March and April.
Conservation status and concernsThe little crake global population is not estimated, but there is a steady decline. However, as it has a very large range, it is considered not Vulnerable. Destruction, modification and fragmentation of the wetlands and also drainage and reclamation of marshes for human use are the main threats for the survival of these crake species.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these little crake species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".
1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Porzana_parva_Vlaskop_cropped.jpg
Image author: Martien Brand | License: CC BY 2.0 (as on 2016-10-22)
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Porzana_parva_(50).jpg
Image author: ΝΙΚΟΣ ΣΑΜΑΡΙΤΑΚΗΣ | License: CC BY 2.0
3.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/micksway/18010153756/in/photostream/
Image author: Michael Sveikutis | License: CC BY-ND 2.0 (as on 2016-10-22)
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