Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Henderson Crake (Zapornia atra)


French: Marouette de Henderson German: Hendersonsumpfhuhn Spanish: Polluela de la Henderson
Other common names: Red-eyed Crake

Porzana atra


, 1908,

Henderson Island


Previously placed in genus Porzana. In the past sometimes assigned to monotypic genus Nesophylax. Closely related to Z. tabuensis and †Z. monasa. Monotypic.


Henderson I, in C Pitcairn Group.

Descriptive notes

18 cm; male 69–87 (80)g, females 66–88 (74·5)g. Flightless; legs well developed for running. Entire plumage deep black with slight greyish gloss; iris,... read more


Contact call a nasal “kak”, repeated in rapid series as an alarm call. Also has loud,... read more


Thick Pisonia forest to open Pisonia/Xylosma forest, and Timonius... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes large nematodes, terrestrial molluscs, insects (Coleoptera, and adult and larval Lepidoptera), spiders, and eggs of the skink... read more


Jul–Feb. Monogamous, with permanent pair-bond; presumably permanently territorial. Possible polyandry once recorded, female making 4... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Henderson Island EBA. Endemic to Henderson I, a 37 km² uninhabited raised-reef island with no permanent fresh water.... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Henderson Crake (Zapornia atra). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2019).