Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana)


French: Marouette ponctuée German: Tüpfelsumpfhuhn Spanish: Polluela pintoja

Rallus Porzana


, 1766,





British Is (very locally) and Spain E across S Scandinavia, N Mediterranean and Balkans to W & C Russia, Caucasus, Iran and Arabia#R, continuing to Kazakhstan, SW Siberia (Suva), NW China (W Xinjiang) and NW Mongolia. Winters from Mediterranean and Middle East S to W Africa, and from Sudan S to NE South Africa and W to Namibia; also Pakistan and India; irregularly SW Caspian Sea.

Descriptive notes

22–24 cm; unsexed 57–147 (87·5) g; wingspan 37–42 cm. Rather plump crake, readily distinguished from sympatric rallids on size, structure and plumage... read more


Advertising call of male a short, sharp ascending whistle “whitt”, suggesting whiplash, repeated... read more


Freshwater wetlands with dense cover of sedges and rushes (Carex, Eleocharis,... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous; mainly small aquatic invertebrates and parts of aquatic plants. Takes earthworms, molluscs, Arachnida, insects and their larvae... read more


Europe, Apr–Jul; former USSR, May–Jul. Monogamous; pair-bond maintained only during breeding season. Territorial when breeding... read more


European birds move S to SW in autumn; some winter S Europe and N Africa (Egypt and Morocco),... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Numbers fluctuate widely in most areas, due to nature of preferred habitat, but decreases evident over most of European range during... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana). 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 19 January 2020).