993. Crex pratensis

993. CORN-CRAKE OR LAND-RAIL.
CREX PRATENSIS.
Crex pratensis, Bechst. Orn. Taschenb, part 2, p. 337 (1803) ; Naum. ix. p. 496, Taf. 236 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 372, pl. cv. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 87 ; Dresser, vii. p. 291, pl. 499 ; Saunders, p. 507 ; Lilford, iv. p. 126, pl. 55 ; Rallus crex, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 261 (1766) ; (Gould), B. of. E. iv. pl. 341 ; (Ridgway), p. 140 ; (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiii. p. 82 ; Blanf. E. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 163.
Rale des pres, French ; Codornizao, Portug. ; Polla de agua, Rey de las codornices, Span. ; Re di quaglie, Ital. ; Wiesenralle, German ; Kvartelkoning, Dutch ; Vagtelkonge, Dan. ; Agerrixe, Norweg. ; Angsknarr, Swed. ; Ruisraakka, Finn. ; Korostell, Russ.
Male ad. (England). Crown, hind neck, and upper parts blackish brown marked with greyish and reddish ochreous ; quills rufous brown ; wing- coverts rusty red ; chin white ; sides of head blue-grey with a pale brown band passing through the eye to the neck ; sides of neck greyish ochreous marked with reddish brown ; abdomen and under tail-coverts white, the latter marked with reddish brown ; flanks rufous barred with white ; bill dark brown ; legs greyish flesh ; iris clear brown. Culmen 0.8, wing 5.5, tail 2.15, tarsus 1.5 inch. Female similar but duller. In the autumn the spots on the upper parts are smaller, the under parts paler, and the flanks less rufous.
Hab. Europe generally, including even the outlying Hebrides, nearly up to the Arctic Circle ; Africa, south to the Cape Colony in winter ; Asia, east to the Yenesei and possibly to the Lena, south through Persia to Muscat ; of doubtful occurrence in Northern India ; has strayed to Greenland, Bermuda, and the east coast of North America.
Frequents fields, meadows, and lowlands, and though seldom seen, its harsh grating note is often heard. It runs with ease and celerity, but is averse to take wing. It feeds chiefly on insects of various kinds. Its nest is a mere depression in the soil, usually in a cornfield or meadow, and is very scantily lined with grass-bents, and its eggs, 8 to 12 in number, are usually deposited in June, and are like those of R. aquaticus, but paler in ground-colour and more profusely marked, and measure about 1.48 by 1.04.

BookTitle: 
A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Reference: 
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
993. Crex pratensis
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
CatNo: 
993
Year: 
1903
Page No: 
711
Common name: 
Corn Crake Or Land Rail
M_ID: 
3572
M_CN: 
Corn Crake
M_SN: 
Crex crex
Volume: 
Vol. 2
Term name: 
id: 
10171

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