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a common Eurasian rail, Crex crex, of fields and meadows, with a buff speckled plumage and reddish wings



(Crex crex) a bird of the family Rallidae of the order Gruiformes. The body measures about 27 cm in length, and the weight is approximately 150 g. The body is laterally compressed. The back and head are reddish brown and the underparts grayish.

The corncrake is found in Europe and Southwest Asia. In the USSR it is distributed from the country’s western border to Lake Baikal and from 61°–63° N lat. to Transcaucasia and the semidesert zone. It winters in central and southern Africa. The bird lives in damp meadows and forest glades and penetrates into the mountains along river valleys. It runs swiftly and does not take to the air when chased. In the spring the male emits loud, monosyllabic, rasping cries. The corncrake nests on the ground. A clutch contains seven to 12 eggs, which the female incubates for 15–17 days. Newly hatched nestlings are covered with black-brown down. The birds feed on small invertebrates and seeds. They are hunted for sport.

References in periodicals archive ?
The ESA recommendations reflect these traditional practices, which include delaying the cutting of hay until August and cutting from the centre of the field outwards to enable birds such as corncrakes to escape to neighbouring fields.
Then, in the blink of an eye, the corncrake disappeared.
The Commission concluded that two sites known as Soren and Gleggen, which are important for Corncrake and other meadow-breeding birds, were wrongly excluded from the SPA, and that the Austrian authorities had not applied correctly relevant EU nature conservation legislation when they authorised the road project.
The corncrake is, at first sight, an unlikely symbol for anything.
The number of corncrakes, known for its rasping call, fell by 39% between 2014 and last year.
Whilst on the Island, Minister McIlveen took a tour of the RSPBs refurbished West Light Seabird Centre, where she discussed with RSPB NI Director, Joanne Sherwood, the ongoing work between the RSPB, RDCA, and NIEA in protecting marine life and encouraging the return of birds such as the corncrake and chough.
Tiffany Graves is a constant delight as Lois (Bianca), aspiring Shakespearean with a corncrake voice, naive ingenue with a past (and, possibly, a present) and the perfect interpreter of Always True to You.
Michael Reeves, Andrew Grant LLP: Parmjit Gill, Eversheds; Russell Dunleavy, Corncrake Properties Ltd
The westernmost island also reported a corncrake and two Richard's pipits, with another in Wader passage has slowed, but 40 knots and a grey plover were a nice find from the hide at The Spinnies.
OUR last trip to London Zoo looks at some of their conservation work - from the Nepalese one-horned rhino to tiny frogs and a sweet British bird, the corncrake.
The bird, which spends its winters in West Africa before returning to Inch Island in Donegal to nest, is on the endangered species list along with the Golden Eagle and the Corncrake.
BirdLife also pointed out that out of the 453 or so species of bird regularly found in Europe, around one-third were reliant on sustainable farming for their future survival, with those at most immediate risk including the corncrake, the red-backed shrike and the great bustard.