Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Baillon's crake

Thai: นกอัญชันเล็ก, nok an-chan lek

Binomial name: Porzana pusilla, Peter Simon Pallas, 1776

The Baillon's crake (Porzana pusilla) is a very small waterbird of the family Rallidae.

Distribution

Their breeding habitat is sedge beds in Europe, mainly in the east, and across Asia. They used to breed in Great Britain up to the mid-19th century, but the western European population declined through drainage. There has been a recovery in north-western Europe in recent years, with the recolonisation of Germany and the Netherlands, and breeding suspected in Britain; an Irish record in 2012 was the first there since the 1850s. They nest in a dry location in wet sedge bogs, laying 4–8 eggs. This species is migratory, wintering in east Africa and south Asia.

It is also a resident breeder in Africa and Australasia. There is a single North American record of this species on Attu Island in September 2000.

Description

They are 16 – 18 cm in length, and are similar to the only slightly larger little crake. Baillon's crake has a short straight bill, yellow or green without a red base. Adults have mainly brown upperparts with some white markings, and a blue-grey face and underparts. The rear flanks are barred black and white. They have green legs with long toes, and a short tail which is barred underneath.

Immature Baillon's crakes are similar to the adults, but have extensively barred underparts. The downy chicks are black, as with all rails.

Behaviour

These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects and aquatic animals.

Baillon's crakes are very secretive in the breeding season, and are then mostly heard rather than seen. They are then noisy birds, with a rattling call like that of the edible frog, or perhaps garganey. They can be easier to see on migration or when wintering.

Taxonomy and nomenclature

This bird is named after French naturalist Louis Antoine Francois Baillon. The names marsh crake and tiny crake have previously been used to refer to this species.

International

The Baillon's crake is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Australia

Baillon's crakes are not listed as threatened on the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. However, their conservation status varies from state to state within Australia. For example:

  • The Baillon's crake is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988). Under this Act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has not yet been prepared.
  • On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, the Baillon's crake is listed as vulnerable.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Gruiformes
Family
Rallidae
Genus
Porzana
Species
Porzana pusilla

Common names

  • Thai: นกอัญชันเล็ก, nok an-chan lek

Synonyms

  • Zapornia pusilla

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Baillon's crake, Porzana pusilla in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bangkok Province
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Klaeng District, Rayong
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
  • Sai Noi District, Nonthaburi
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Thale Noi Non-hunting Area
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Wang Noi District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

Range map of Porzana pusilla in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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