(redirected from corncrakes)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Related to the moorhen, corncrakes are very secretive, spending most of their time hidden in tall vegetation, their presence only betrayed by their rasping call.
How many of you have seen / heard a Stag Beetle and or a Corncrake? Not many, I'll wager - not that I think you hear Stag Beetles much.
BirdWatch Ireland has been battling for 11 years to try to save the dwindling number of corncrakes, which are on an international environmental "red list" because of the threat they face.
The reality is we had days in June during the census in Mayo, Donegal and Galway like today and corncrakes won't call with same level of wind."
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.
A team, led by Dr Mark Whittingham of Newcastle University's School of Biology and partners, says that current UK agri-environment schemes have worked well when targeted at the needs of such rare and localised species as corncrakes and stone curlews.
The new member states excluding Malta, are home to a disproportionate share of the European Union's farmland birds, including all of the globally threatened aquatic warblers, 98% of the EU's imperial eagles, 92% of the EU's corncrakes, almost three out of every four (78%) of the EU's white storks and more than half (55%) of the EU's roller population.
At Sandwell Valley Nature Reserve farmland has been cultivated in a way sensitive to birds in a bid to encourage the return of corncrakes, skylarks and linnets.
Nor do I recall there being many corncrakes for the SNH anoraks to study around Arthur's Seat, whereas they're now returning in record numbers to Wester Ross.
According to Tim Gordon of BirdWatch Ireland: "Corncrakes were heard from mid-July at new locations, including at Rossport and near Ardagh (on the banks of Lough Conn), and were still calling until mid-August at Raghly and near Killadoon."