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A photo of a Slaty-legged Crake (Rallina eurizonoides)
Slaty-legged Crake

Slaty-legged Crake

Rallina eurizonoides

The Slaty-legged Crake, known scientifically as Rallina eurizonoides, is a member of the rail and crake family, Rallidae. This bird is characterized by its laterally flattened body, which is an adaptation for easier navigation through dense undergrowth. It measures approximately 25 cm in length, with long toes that facilitate movement on soft ground and a short tail for maneuverability.

Identification Tips

Adult Slaty-legged Crakes exhibit a brown back, a chestnut-colored head and breast, and striking black-and-white barring on their flanks, belly, and undertail. The throat is a clean white, while the bill takes on a yellowish hue, and the legs are a verdant green. Both sexes appear similar in plumage, whereas juveniles present a darker brown coloration both above and below but retain the distinctive belly barring and white throat of the adults.

Habitat

The preferred breeding habitat of the Slaty-legged Crake is swamps and wet areas rich in vegetation, particularly in well-wooded regions. These birds are adept at navigating through thick underbrush in their lush, humid environments.

Distribution

The Slaty-legged Crake is distributed across South Asia, with its range extending from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to the Philippines and Indonesia. While many of these birds are permanent residents within their territories, some populations, particularly those in the northern parts of their range, migrate southward during the winter months.

Behaviour

These crakes are known for their territorial nature and secretive behavior. When disturbed, they tend to seek refuge in bushes. They forage by probing in mud or shallow water with their bills and by visually spotting food. Their diet includes berries and insects, which they seek out on the ground or while clambering through bushes and undergrowth. Nesting typically occurs in dry locations on the ground or in low bushes, often near forest paths and streams, where they lay 4–8 eggs. The incubation period for these eggs is around 20 days.

Song & Calls

Unfortunately, the guide does not provide information on the song and calls of the Slaty-legged Crake.

Breeding

During the breeding season, Slaty-legged Crakes construct their nests in dry spots either on the ground or in low bushes, usually in proximity to forest pathways and streams. A clutch may consist of 4–8 eggs, with an incubation period observed to be approximately 20 days.

Similar Species

The guide does not provide information on species similar to the Slaty-legged Crake.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Slaty-legged Crake is composed of berries and insects. They employ both tactile and visual methods to forage, probing the mud or shallow waters with their bills or picking up food by sight while navigating through the undergrowth.

Conservation status

The Slaty-legged Crake is currently classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that, at present, there are no immediate threats to its population levels that would warrant a higher degree of conservation concern.

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