Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Ruddy-breasted Crake (Zapornia fusca)


French: Marouette brune German: Zimtsumpfhuhn Spanish: Polluela pechirrufa

Rallus fuscus


, 1766,



Previously included in expanded genus Porzana; sometimes placed in Amaurornis. Race zeylonica sometimes synonymized with nominate. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • Z. f. erythrothorax (Temminck & Schlegel, 1849) – Russian Far East, Korea#R#R, Japan, and E & S China; N populations winter to S.
  • Z. f. phaeopyga (Stejneger, 1887) – Ryukyu Is; birds from Taiwan sometimes assigned to this race#R#R.
  • Z. f. zeylonica (E. C. S. Baker, 1927) – W India and Sri Lanka.
  • Z. f. bakeri (E. J. O. Hartert, 1917) – Pakistan and N India E to SC China (SW Sichuan, SW Yunnan) and Indochina.
  • Z. f. fusca (Linnaeus, 1766) – Philippines and Malay Peninsula to Greater Sundas (in Borneo, mainly in E), Sulawesi and Lesser Sundas (Bali, Sumba, Flores).
  • Descriptive notes

    21–23 cm; unsexed 51·5–63·7 g, one female 78·2 g. Sexes alike but female generally paler, with whiter throat. Z. paykulli similar in... read more


    Usually silent, but in early morning and evening during breeding season utters hard “tewk” or “kyot... read more


    Reedy swamps, marshes and stream banks, reedbeds, wet grassland at edges of lakes, ditches and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Eats molluscs, aquatic insects and their larvae, seeds, and shoots of marsh plants. Probably feeds mainly in cover; occasionally ventures... read more


    Kashmir and NW Pakistan, Jun–Aug; Bengal and NE Pakistan, Jun–Sept; Japan, Mar–Sept; Philippines Aug–Sept; Sumatra... read more


    Largely resident, but migratory in some regions. Status of some populations unclear, especially on... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Extremely shy and difficult to flush, thus poorly known, but formerly considered common to abundant over much of its range. Currently... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Ruddy-breasted Crake (Zapornia fusca). 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 13 December 2019).