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a common Eurasian rail, Crex crex, of fields and meadows, with a buff speckled plumage and reddish wings
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The corncrake was once widespread in the Midlands until the early 20th century when changes in land management saw numbers plummet.
Again, as with the corncrake example, Lorimer successfully portrays the absurd conclusions of inflexible environmental (and neoliberal) groups of all stripes.
The skulking corncrake, with the looks of a brown and streaky moorhen, was well known by sound, if not by sight, to country folk across the length and breadth of the UK, monotonously blasting out its 'crek crek' call throughout the night.
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.
Whether that importance is warranted or not, the story of the last corncrake has assumed sufficient weight in my mind to make it seem worth sharing.
BIRD NOTES With Julian Hughes | Sheltering Corncrake on Bardsey PHOTO: EPHRAIM PERFECT SUPPORTERS of Wales' only nesting colony of Little Terns are celebrating another successful breeding season under the watch of Denbighshire Council's wardens.
Skylarks carolled exuberantly from azure heavens while the weird "crek crek" calls of the grassland corncrake birds echoed from emerald hay meadows.
Nigel Arnold, Lloyds Bank; Nick O'Hara, Thursfields; Russel Dunleavy, Corncrake Properties Ltd; Rob Pettigrew, Thursfields; Chris Peutherer, Shepherd Commercial
THE corncrake could one day be as dead a dodo in Ireland if male birds continue to disappear, new figures reveal.