Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-breasted Crake (Hapalocrex flaviventer)


French: Marouette à sourcils blancs German: Gelbbrust-Sumpfhuhn Spanish: Polluela pálida

Rallus flaviventer


, 1783,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Previously placed in Porzana, but does not closely resemble any member of that genus; due to similarities in face pattern and bill structure, sometimes placed, with Old World Amaurornis cinerea, in genus Poliolimnas. One molecular analysis found that present species is not close to A. cinerea but, rather, is sister to a clade consisting of Rufirallus and Porzana#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. f. gossii (Bonaparte, 1856) – Cuba and Jamaica.
  • H. f. hendersoni (Bartsch, 1917) – Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
  • H. f. woodi (van Rossem, 1934) – S Mexico to NW Costa Rica.
  • H. f. bangsi (Darlington, 1931) – N Colombia.
  • H. f. flaviventer (Boddaert, 1783) – Panama, N & C Colombia and W Ecuador (Manabí)#R to Venezuela, Trinidad and the Guianas, and S to N, EC & S Brazil, E Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and NE Argentina.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–14 cm; male 22–29 (26) g; female 20–28 (24) g. Sexes alike. Very small crake, with long toes which enable it to walk on floating vegetation;... read more


    Low, harsh, rolled or churring “k'kuk kurr-kurr”; plaintive, squealing, single or repeated “kreer”... read more


    Freshwater marshes, grassy edges of lakes and ponds, flooded fields, rice fields, and floating... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small gastropods, insects and seeds, taken from water, mud and vegetation. Forages among emergent plants; emerges from cover in early... read more


    El Salvador, male in breeding condition Aug; Costa Rica, Jul; Trinidad, male in breeding condition Feb; Colombia, “immature”... read more


    Normally regarded as sedentary, and no definite movements recorded, but seen only Mar–Jul at... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly regarded as locally abundant in Cuba, locally common in Mexico, and locally common in Trinidad, El Salvador and Panama.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & de Juana, E. (2020). Yellow-breasted Crake (Hapalocrex flaviventer). 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 16 February 2020).