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Porzana parva

Porzana parva , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Gruiformes
Familia: Rallidae
Genus: Porzana
Species Porzana parva

Porzana parva (*)


Porzana parva (Scopoli, 1769)


* AnnusIHist.-Nat. p.108

Vernacular names
Ελληνικά : Μικροπουλάδα
English: Little Crake
Français: marouette poussin
日本語: コクイナ
Polski: Zielonka
Vèneto: Ponzinèla, Realeto, Cavalerin


The Little Crake (Porzana parva) is a very small waterbird of the family Rallidae.

Their breeding habitat is reed beds in Europe, mainly in the east, and just into western Asia. They nest in a dry location in reed vegetation, laying 4-7 eggs. This species is migratory, wintering in Africa.

At 17-19 cm length, they are slightly smaller than Spotted Crakes, from which they are readily distinguished by the lack of dark barring and white spots on the flanks. They are more similar to Baillon's Crake.

The Little Crake has a short straight bill, yellow with a red base. Adult males have mainly brown upperparts and blue-grey face and underparts. They have green legs with long toes, and a short tail which is barred black and white underneath.
Females have buff underparts, and are grey only on the face. Immature Little Crakes are similar to the female but have a white face and breast. The downy chicks are black, as with all rails.

These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects and aquatic animals.

Little Crakes are very secretive in the breeding season, and are then mostly heard rather than seen. They are then noisy birds, with a yapping kua call. They can be easier to see on migration.

The Little Crake is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

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* BirdLife International (2004). Porzana parva. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

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Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License