White-browed crake

   ›      ›   White-browed crake - Amaurornis cinerea.

The white-browed crake (Amaurornis cinerea) is a small water bird belonging to the crake and rail family, Rallidae. These crake species are distributed in Indian subcontinent, east and southeast Asia, Australia, Philippines and Indonesia. Previously these species were grouped under genus Amaurornis.

Taxonomy of White-browed crake

  • Scientific Name: Amaurornis cinerea
  • Common Name: White-browed crake
  • French: Râle cendré; German: Weißbrauen-Sumpfhuhn; Spanish: Polluela cejiblanca;
  • Other names: Porphyrio cinereus Vieillot, 1819; Poliolimnas cinereus; Porzana cinerea
  • Family: Rallidae › Gruiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Vieillot, 1819)
Amaurornis cinerea was earlier placed under genus Porzana and Poliolimnas. Several subspecies were considered but as the differences are slight, not well defined, and subject to overlap, it is being treated as monotypic species.


The white-browed crake species are small birds measuring 15 to 20 cm and weighing 40 to 60 grams. They have a wingspan of 30 cm. The body is small and slim and the legs and toes are relatively long. The wings and upper side is brown and the throat and belly region are light grayish blue. Their call is a loud, nasal, repeated “chika” sound.
Indian birds - White-browed crake - Amaurornis cinerea
Birds of India - White-browed crake - Amaurornis cinerea

Birds of India - White-browed crake - Amaurornis cinerea
Indian birds - White-browed crake - Amaurornis cinerea

Indian birds - white-browed crake - Amaurornis cinerea
Bird of India - White-browed crake - Amaurornis cinerea


The white-browed crake species inhabit subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, wetlands, marshes, dense swamps, reedbeds and paddy fields.

Feeding habits

The crake feeds primarily on invertebrates, aquatic insects, insects, worms, small frogs and mollusks. It also feeds on seeds, grass, shoots and berries.


The breeding season of these crake species vary from place to place. In Philippines it is during the months of July and August. The crake males are generally monogamous.


The white-browed crake is distributed in Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, other southeastern Asian countries, Indo-china region, Southeast China, Japan and parts of Indian subcontinent.

Movement and migration Patterns

These white-browed crake species are considered resident birds making local movements for feeding and shelter. Movement patterns are imperfectly known.

Conservation status and concerns

The white-browed crake global population size has not been quantified but considering the extremely large range, it is treated as not vulnerable to extinction. The population trend is considered to be on the increase. The damage caused to the wetlands and estuaries is the major threat to the survival of these crake species.

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

Biological classification of Amaurornis cinerea
Species:A. cinerea
Binomial name:Amaurornis cinerea
Distribution:Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Philippines, Indonesia and Australia;
Feeding habits:feeds on invertebrates, aquatic insects, land insects, worms, small frogs, and mollusks; also feeds on seeds, grass, shoots and berries;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Porzana_cinerea.jpeg
Image author: P. Henne | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amaurornis_cinerea.JPG
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Image author: JJ Harrison | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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