T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Crake (Marsh) Porzana pusilla

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Porzana
Species: P. pusilla
Binomial name: Porzana pusilla
Synonyms: Zapornia pusilla
Common name: Marsh crake, koitareke, Baillon's crake

Porzana pusilla is a very small waterbird of the family Rallidae. It is so so secretive it is rarely seen. The New Zealand subspecies is endemic. It has been recorded throughout the country but the majority of records are in the South Island where they appear to be more numerous. It calls at dusk and into the night – one call is a harsh trilling sound. It inhabits dense wetland vegetation. 
They are about half the size of the common blackbird. The crown, upper parts and wings are rich chestnut-brown with flecks and streaks of black and white. The face and under parts are grey with black-and-white bars towards the flanks and vent. The eye is bright red, the bill green and the legs olive or yellowish-olive. The feet are very large. Very little is known of their ecology.

  

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