Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea)


French: Râle cendré German: Weißbrauen-Sumpfhuhn Spanish: Polluela cejiblanca

Porphyrio cinereus


, 1819,



Previously included in Porzana; as bill structure and face pattern render it distinct from latter genus, however, has sometimes been placed in Poliolimnas together with Hapalocrex flaviventer (also previously in Porzana), which shows similar characters. Until recently several subspecies commonly recognized, notably †brevipes, ocularis, micronesiae, minima, leucophrys, meeki and tannensis; but differences are slight, not well defined, and subject to overlap. Treated as monotypic.


SE Asia and Greater Sundas through Philippines, Sulawesi, Moluccas and Lesser Sundas to New Guinea and N Australia, and E through Micronesia and Melanesia (S to Vanuatu and New Caledonia) to WC Polynesia (Fiji and Samoa). Formerly also Volcano (Iwo) Is, S of Japan.

Descriptive notes

15–20 cm; unsexed 40–62·5 (52) g; wingspan 27 cm. Small, slim-bodied crake with relatively long legs and toes. Easily distinguished from sympatric crakes... read more


Common call a loud, nasal, chattering, rapidly repeated “chika”, made by both members... read more


Well vegetated coastal and terrestrial wetlands, both freshwater and saline, especially those with... read more

Food and feeding

Earthworms, slugs, leeches, insects, water spiders, frog spawn, and small fish; also seeds and leaves of aquatic plants. Forages at mud... read more


Borneo, Apr–Jun; Philippines, Jul–Aug, and downy young Oct; New Guinea, Dec–Mar, May, chicks Jun and Oct–Nov;... read more


Imperfectly known; considered resident over much of range but probably partially migratory in some... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Less shy and elusive than most rails and formerly regarded as locally fairly common to fairly abundant throughout most of range,... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea). 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 3 April 2020).