basic information

Baillon's Crake

Porzana pusilla (Pallas, 1776)

Погоныш-крошка | Титтей тартар

Sorbulak lake, Almaty region
© Vassiliy Fedorenko


Male Baillon's Crake in breeding plumage is olive-brownish above with black core-spots of feathers, more large on the middle of mantle and on shoulders. Some feathers of mantle are white-mottled. The neck-flanks and craw-flanks are buffy-brownish. Supercilium, head-flanks, throat, body-flanks and undertail are dark-grey or brownish white-barred. Flight feathers are brownish, outer web of the first flight feather is white. Upper wing coverts are plain olive-brown with pale tips. Under wing coverts are brownish white-mottled. Tail feathers are dark-brownish pale-tipped. Legs are olive-brownish. Bill is dark-olive with greenish base of low mandible. Eyes are dark-red. Female is similar on male but with pale-grey underparts and whitish throat. Juveniles is similar on adults above. Head-flanks, supercilium and ear are buffy-brownish; throat, breast and belly are off-white; craw-flanks and breast are buffy-brown tinged and cross bars. Sizes: wing 80-98 mm, bill 14-18 mm, tarsus 25-32 mm. Weight about 60 gr.


Baillon's Crake breeds on Syrdarya and its inflows, in lower reaches of Talas and Chu rivers, in Ile valley, Balkhash-Alakol depression, on Zaysan lake, in Semipalatinsk area and in Bel'agach steppe, on Kurgaldzhin lakes, Ul'genkul and Akkanskoye lakes; and also on Ural river between Uralsk and Orsk, in lower reaches of Ilek, Khobda and Chingirlau rivers. In July 1901 Baillon's Crake was obtained on Markakol lake. Widespread on migration, a lot of Baillon's Crakes migrate through foothills of Western Tien Shan.


Baillon's Crake is common, in places rare breeding migrant. Inhabits mostly fresh or slightly salty lakes, pounds and drift rivers, with reed, reed mace and willow bush thickets. Appears mostly in April - early May. Breeds in separate pairs. Nest is built in the floating heaps of old reed stems, close to open water; on the tussocks among the water; or near shore from the dry leaves of different grass. The base of nest contacts water or is placed at 10-12 cm above the water. Clutches of 6-9 eggs is in May. Incubation lasts 20-21 days. Two broods per season is possible. Autumn migration begins from mid-August, Baillon's Crake disappears most of nesting ranges up to end of September, but in south of Kazakhstan Baillon's Crake was observed in mid-October.


Porzana pusilla pusilla (Pallas, 1776)


"Птицы Казахстана" том 1, Алма-Ата, 1960.
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.
Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.



Porzana pusilla pusilla
(Pallas, 1776)

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Леонид Ишков: Вопрос к профессионалам. Может ли быть, что это все три вида наших лебедей в одной стае?


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Alexandr Mesiats: Да, безусловно, согласен с Вами, но следует ли из этого, что чернушке, как "скальнику" (и практически "чистому" синатропу) легче приспособится [....]

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