Black Crake (Amaurornis flavirostra)

The Black Crake is a small, 8" (20cm) bird, which is black all over and is a member of the family of Rails. It's distinguishing features are its yellow bill and red eyes and feet, with extremely long toes - and a very short tail. Due to its unpaletable flesh, it has not been hunted by humans and is thus often found out in the open, unlike others of the Rails family.

Birds of the water's edge, Black Crakes are often seen in pairs, or small groups of individuals. They have an unusual high-striding gait and bob their tails as they walk, like a Wagtail.
It is a very aggressive bird when breeding and attacks other birds in the vicinity of its nest. It has a particular intolerance to others of the Rails family and will fight them to the point of death.

The Black Crake eats just about anything, foraging on the ground or in reeds. Small fish, as depicted in my images, frogs, grass seed, or even the eggs of other birds. It scavenges on carcuses and perches on Hippos and Warthogs, feeding on parasites.

Black Crakes can be seen in South & East Kenya and in the lakes of the Great Rift Valley.

Extra Facts
A pair of Black Crakes will duet their call, which is a series of bubbling 'crr-crr-crr' ending with a growl.

Photographed in Olare Orok Conservancy & Nairobi National Park.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, black crake, kenya, water rail, wildlife

Black Crake ~ Reflection

A Black Crake, standing on a stone, looking down into water, fishing.

Black Crake ~ The Fisherman

Black Crake, fish in beak, standing, reflection.

Black Crake ~ Big Feet

Black Crake eating fish, standing, big feet.

Black Crake ~ Eating Fish

Black Crake eating fish, standing on lake bank.

Black Crake ~ Portrait Reflection

Black Crake eating fish, standing, foot raised, reflection.

Black Crake ~ On Fallen Bamboo

A Black Crake standing on fallen bamboo

Black Crake ~ Juvenile

Juvenile Black Crake, walking along fallen bamboo, looking like a tightrope walker.