Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Ocellated Crake (Micropygia schomburgkii)


French: Râle ocellé German: Schomburgkralle Spanish: Polluela ocelada

Crex Schomburgkii


, 1848,

interior of Guyana


Author of specific name sometimes believed to be Cabanis, but this erroneous#R. This species is sometimes placed in Coturnicops, but differs in vocalizations, nest construction and some anatomical details. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. s. schomburgkii (Schomburgk, 1848) – Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela and the Guianas.
  • M. s. chapmani (Naumburg, 1930) – SE Peru, N Bolivia, C to SE Brazil and E Paraguay.
  • A few scattered records on both sides of R Amazon in Brazil, status unclear#R.

    Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; male 40 g, female 24g, unsexed 32 g. Distinctive small crake; tail quite well developed, despite genus name. Sexes similar but female usually has head more... read more


    Song a sequence of clear, strong “pr-pr-pr” notes, lasting 20–30 seconds. Calls most... read more


    Variety of dense grassland habitats, both well drained and seasonally flooded, from almost pure... read more

    Food and feeding

    Beetles (Carabidae, Scarabaeidae), stoneflies, grasshoppers (Acrididoidea), cockroaches and many ants. One caught in trap baited with... read more


    Brazil, Oct–Mar; Costa Rica, probably during rainy season; Colombia breeding condition Mar. Monogamous; territorial, possibly... read more


    None recorded, but occasionally flies into lighted open windows at night. Doubtful record of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Patchily distributed, but can be locally fairly common in natural grasslands and savannas within its disjunct range. Probably exists... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Ocellated Crake (Micropygia schomburgkii). 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).