African Crake

Introduction: African crakes (Crecopsis egregia) prefer lowland dry grassland and seasonally flooded grassland. Crop fields growing rice, cotton and maize are also suitable. They are particularly active at dawn and dusk, moving quickly along the ground and in short grass. Roosts at the base of a tuft of grass or even inside it.

Distribution: Scattered range in the north-eastern regions including Etosha National Park, Rundu, the Zambezi Region (formerly the Caprivi Strip) and is vagrant to the Namib Desert and Skeleton Coast after prolonged easterly winds.

Diet: Earthworms, termites, ants, bugs, small frogs and fish and grasshoppers. Also eats grass leaves and green shoots.

Description: A medium-sized rail with a longer bill and more rounded wings than most other rails. The Latin word egregia means 'without flocking' referring to their solitary habits. Crecopsis refers to their similarity to the corn crake.

Breeding: Between 2 and 8 eggs are laid in a saucer-shaped pad built of dry grass between October and March. Newly hatched chicks are often eaten by boomslang.

Size: 23cm.

Weight: 120g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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