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Black Crake - BirdForum Opus

Photo by pjbphotos
Amboseli National Park, Kenya, February 2007
Zapornia flavirostra

Amaurornis flavirostra


  • 19–23 cm
  • Plumage mainly black
  • Brown/olive tinge on the wings and upperparts
  • Red eye
  • Yellow bill
  • Feet & legs red (duller when not breeding)

Sexes similar, though male is larger

  • Brown upperparts
  • Dark grey head and underparts
  • Greeny- yellow bill
  • Dull red feet and legs.


Sub-Saharan Africa
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, eSwatini


A monotypic species[1].
Placed in genus Amaurornis by IOC.


Fresh water marshes with a thick cover of reeds and other aquatic vegetation.


This species will perch on hippopotamuses and warthogs and remove parasites.


Both sexes build the deep neat bowl nest from wetland plants, placed in marsh vegetation or on the ground in a dry location. Two to six cream or white eggs, spotted with brown or chestnut, are laid. They are sometimes assisted by the young from previous broods, incubation 13–19 days.


The diet includes invertebrates, small fish, frogs and seeds; it will take the eggs of birds and scavenge on carcasses. It will forage on the ground or climb reeds to find prey including flying insects.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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