The little crake is a short-billed and long-toed little bird about as big as a lark, with streaky brown rather lark-like plumage, slightly variegated with white above, and grey below on the old cock, while the under-parts of hens and young birds are buff, shading into brown behind, where the plumage is diversified with white cross-bars in all. Young birds are more freely barred, and show more white on the upper-parts.
The little crake is the smallest of our rails except the next species, but is a comparatively bold bird, being found running on water-lily leaves and swimming in the water between them ; it also appears to dive quite freely, and is altogether more of a water-bird and less of a swamp-runner than most rails. It is also a pretty good flyer as rails go, and is only a winter visitor to India, and then only to the extreme North-west, its chosen haunts being the broads in Sind, where it feeds on water-insects.
This, like the spotted crake, is a well-known bird in Europe, and does not extend farther than Central Asia to the eastward.