Ruddy-breasted crake

   ›      ›   Ruddy-breasted crake - Zapornia fusca

The ruddy-breasted crake (Zapornia pusilla) is a small water bird belonging to the crake and rail family, Rallidae. The ruddy-breasted crake is distributed in Indian subcontinent, Russia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Indochina region, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, Philippines and Indonesia.

Taxonomy of Ruddy-breasted crake

  • Scientific Name: Zapornia fusca
  • Common Name: Ruddy-breasted crake
  • French: Marouette brune; German: Zimtsumpfhuhn; Spanish: Polluela pechirrufa;
  • Other names: Rallus fuscus Linnaeus, 1766; Porzana fusca (Linnaeus, 1766); ruddy crake;
  • Family: Rallidae › Gruiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1766)
The five recognized subspecies of Zapornia fusca are: Z. f. erythrothorax (Temminck & Schlegel, 1849), Z. f. phaeopyga (Stejneger, 1887), Z. f. zeylonica (E. C. S. Baker, 1927), Z. f. bakeri (E. J. O. Hartert, 1917) and Z. f. fusca (Linnaeus, 1766). The Zapornia fusca was earlier included in Porzana and sometime in Amaurornis.


The ruddy-breasted crake is a small bird measuring 21 to 23 cm. Both the male and female crake look similar, but the female is generally paler and has white throat. They have brown back and chestnut head and underparts, with white barring on the undertail. They have short grey bill and reddish eyes. The legs and toes are long and reddish in color. Their call is a loud “tewk” sound.
Indian birds - Ruddy-breasted crake - Zapornia fusca
Birds of India - Ruddy-breasted crake - Zapornia fusca
Birds of India - Ruddy-breasted crake - Zapornia fusca
Indian birds - Ruddy-breasted crake - Zapornia fusca
Indian birds - Ruddy-breasted crake - Zapornia fusca
Birds of India - Ruddy-breasted crake - Zapornia fusca


These crake species inhabit reedbeds, freshwater, brackish or saline wetlands, marshes, swamps, river banks, canals, flooded meadows, irrigated lands and flooded agricultural fields.

Feeding habits

The ruddy-breasted crake species feed on small fish, invertebrates, aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, worms and mollusks. They also feed on vegetable matters like seeds, grass, shoots and berries.


These crake species in Indian subcontinent breed during June to August. Individual resident populations breed with respect to local weather seasons, usually nesting during or just after the wet season. The nest is a raised platform of plant material. The clutch may contains 6 to 9 eggs.


The ruddy-breasted crake subspecies Z. f. erythrothorax is distributed in Russia, China, Korea and Japan. The subspecies Z. f. phaeopyga is distributed in Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan. The subspecies Z. f. zeylonica is distributed in West India and Sri Lanka. The subspecies Z. f. bakeri is distributed in Pakistan, North India, China and Indochina. The subspecies Z. f. fusca occurs in Philippines, Malay Peninsula and Indonesia.

Movement and migration Patterns

The ruddy-breasted crake populations is mostly resident. The northern crake populations may move southwards during winter. There may be local movements for feeding and breeding.

Conservation status and concerns

The ruddy-breasted crake global population is not quantified and the overall population trend is on the decrease. However, as it has a very large range, it is considered not Vulnerable. Destruction, modification and fragmentation of the wetlands, expansion of agriculture practices, reed cutting and burning are the main threats for the survival of these crake species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these ruddy-breasted crake species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Zapornia fusca
Species:Z. fusca
Binomial name:Zapornia fusca
Distribution:Russia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Indian subcontinent, Indochina, Philippines and Indonesia;
Feeding habits:feeds on invertebrates, aquatic insects, water beetles, worms and mollusks; also feeds on seeds, grass, shoots and berries;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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