986. Spotted Crake.
Porzana maruetta (Leach), Syst. Cat. etc. p. 34 (1816) ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 88 ; Dresser, vii. p. 267, pl. 496 ; Saunders, p. 509 ; Lilford, iv. p. 130, pl. 56 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 166 ; Rallus porzana, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 262 (1766) ; (Naum.), ix. p. 523, Taf. 237 ; (Hewitson), ii. p. 318, pl. lxxxix. figs. 2, 3 ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 343 ; (Sharpe), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiii. p. 93.
Poule d’eau marouette, French ; Frango d’agua, Portug. ; Polluella, Span. ; Voltolino. Ital. ; Punktirtes Rohrhuhn, German ; Porcelein hoentje, Dutch ; Plettet Sumphone Rorvagtel,, Dan. ; Smaaplettet Sumphone, Norweg. ; Smaflackig Sumphona, Swed. ; Kaisla-raakka, Finn. ; Kamyschnik, Russ. ; Gurguri-khairi, Bengal.
Male ad. (Holland). Entire head and upper throat blackish slate-grey, the throat and head in front of the eye unspotted, the crown closely marked with black and dark reddish brown ; lores blackish ; hind neck and upper parts warm olivaceous brown, the neck closely spotted with white, the rest of upper parts striped and spotted with white and blotched with black ; quills and tail olive-brown, the first quill externally margined with white ; under parts deep slate-grey, the breast and flanks spotted, and the latter barred with white ; middle of abdomen nearly white ; under tail- coverts ochreous buff ; bill orange-yellow, red at the base ; legs yellowish green ; iris reddish brown. Culmen 0.85, wing 4.8, tail 2.2, tarsus 1.45, middle toe with claw 1.7 inch. Female similar but smaller and duller, the head, neck, and flanks tinged with brown, and more white on the abdomen.
Hab. Europe generally, north to Trondhjem Fjord in Nor¬way, to Hudiksvall in Sweden, and Archangel in Russia, south to the Mediterranean in winter ; Britain ; Canaries, rare ; North Africa, south to Abyssinia ; Asia Minor and Asia, east to Central Asia, and Northern India in winter.
Frequents swampy places where the herbage is thick, and is very secretive and shy. Its call-note is a clear kweet, usually heard in the evening or at night, and its food consists of aquatic insects, larvae, small worms, snails, tender shoots and seeds. Its nest, which is usually well concealed, is a loose structure of flags, reeds, and leaves of aquatic plants, lined with finer materials, and the eggs, 8 to 14 in number, are deposited late in May or early in June, and are rather glossy, ochreous in ground-colour, with violet-grey shell-markings and reddish brown surface spots and blotches, and measure about 1.34 by 0.97.
986. Porzana maruetta
986. Spotted Crake.