Fun Corncrake Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Corncrake Facts For Kids

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The corn crake is a bird from the rail group that breeds across Europe and western Asia, migrating to Africa in winter. It is a hay meadow bird that is timid and secretive. Corncrakes are also similar to moorhens, coots, and rails, but they live on dry land unlike the rest of the family. The corn crake is a small bird, about the size of a blackbird, and the male's separate loud call is often the only indicator of their presence. They usually hide from view but the loud noise of the birds can be heard from a distance, even through dense vegetation. Both genders look alike, but the female sometimes has a warmer buff upper body and her eyes are likely to be narrower and duller.  This pigeon-sized bird is extremely shy and flies floppily. Secretive in nature, a corncrake has a long neck and round body. To know more about interesting corncrake personality traits, read on to the end of this article and get ready to learn!

Fun Corncrake Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Slugs, snails, seeds of grasses

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.35 lb (0.16 kg)

How long are they?

11-12 in (28-30 cm)

How tall are they?

17-21 in (43-53 cm)

What do they look like?

A gray face with dark brown streaks on its back

Skin Type

Coarse feathers

What were their main threats?

Birds Of Prey, Cats, And Otters

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Grass Plains, Mountains, And Savannahs, Lowland


Parts Of Europe And Asia









Corncrake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a corncrake?

A corncrake is a bird whose scientific name is Crex crex.

What class of animal does a corncrake belong to?

The corncrake bird belongs to the Aves class.

How many corncrakes are there in the world?

Around 5.45-9.72 million corncrakes exist in Europe and Asia.

Where does a corncrake live?

The corn crake is a bird from the rail group that lives in Europe and western Asia before migrating to Africa in the winter. Corncrakes can be found all over Scotland's northwestern archipelago, from Shetland and Orkney to the Hebrides, with the only main population remaining in Durness. They only survive in Scotland and Ireland where there are steady stands of vegetation high enough to be capable of providing a cover of more than 7 in (20 cm). Corn crakes breed in meadows and agricultural farms, not marshes, as most crakes do.

What is a corncrake's habitat?

These species are mostly found in lowland areas, but they can also be found up in the mountains where adequate habitats exist throughout Europe. The drier areas of marshland, grassy peatlands, and meadows are all natural habitats of corncrakes. In areas where it is not hunted, a corn crake can easily live near humans amidst active farming practices.

Who do corncrakes live with?

Corncrakes, like most rails, are usually solitary birds.

How long does a corncrake live?

Their maximum life expectancy is three years.

How do they reproduce?

Corn crakes do not breed in swamps like most crakes, but rather in meadows and arable farmland, as the name indicates. The corncrake is known for singing "crex crex" over and over again. This is the mating call of the male corncrake, and the female is compelled to respond to it. Throughout the summer, he will make this call up to 6 million times. The breeding season lasts from mid-May to early August and, after seventeen days of incubation, greenish-grey discolored eggs hatch. The corncrake baby is usually fed by its mother for the first four days after hatching, after which they quickly learn to feed themselves, and in just over thirty days, they start flying. The female crake will incubate and raise the brood on her own before looking for a new mate for her next brood. During the breeding season, these species are extremely secretive and they can be heard much more than they can be seen.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this medium-sized rail is currently Least Concern. These species were once common in the UK, but their breeding population has shrunk significantly, and they are now confined to a few key areas because of modern agricultural methods. They were once threatened and were on the verge of extinction during the early '90s. Fortunately, numbers are increasing, with over 1200 birds counted in Scotland in 2014, thanks to local farmers whose land ownership has provided these birds with the habitat they need to successfully breed.

Corncrake Fun Facts

What do corncrakes look like?

The corncrake (Crex crex) has a small and stubby bill and has a round body and long throat, similar to a water rail. Its plumage is brown in color with a tint of yellow, and it has chestnut, white, and dense black barring on the flanks, which fades on its undertail. On the throat and above the eye, there are dark grey patches. The corn crake has chestnut wings and long hanging legs.

Corncrake facts can really educate you about this bird

How cute are they?

A corncrake chick is quite adorable with its beady eyes and cute walking stance.

How do they communicate?

These medium-sized rails are a nocturnal, secretive species that communicate almost entirely through acoustic communication due to the lack of other channels of communication. Corncrake males are territorial during the breeding season when they advertise their positions with extremely loud calls and act aggressively toward their competitors.

How big is a corncrake?

The corncrake is a medium-size rail usually weighing 0.35 lb (150 g), which is almost a size of a pigeon.

How fast can a corncrake fly?

The wings of these species are pretty long. It flies with skittering wings and hanging legs behind it when flushed. Despite the fact that, like most rails, its fly is weak and jerky, it can fly quickly and for long periods of time during migrations.

How much does a corncrake weigh?

A male corncrake weighs 5.8 oz (165 g) and a female corncrake weighs 5.11 oz (145 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

These species do not have separate names for the two genders.

What would you call a baby corncrake?

Corncake babies do not have any specific names but are often known as chicks. The upper parts of the chicks are narrower and paler and the brown tinge on the sides of the head, foredeck, and breast is largely grayish-white with dimmer eyes and dark grey legs.

What do they eat?

Corncrake (Crex crex) birds eat earthworms, mollusks, spiders, and insects, among other invertebrates. They also eat small ducks, as well as small mammals and birds on occasion. They feed on the green areas of plants, grass seeds, and grains. During the winter in Africa, they eat a similar diet.

Are they dangerous?

No, these species are usually not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

The Crex crex is a migratory bird and therefore it won’t make a good pet.

Did you know…

Corncrake eggs and chicks are cared for solely by female corncrakes.

A corn crake's song, which is a repetitive, far-reaching "crex crex" sound, sounds like two notched sticks being pressed together and can be heard mostly at night and very early in the morning.

The corncrake's migration cycles

Corncrakes can be found in Europe during the summer and then move to Africa to spend the winter.

Is the corncrake going extinct?

No, this species of bird is not going extinct. Although they were threatened in the world during the '90s, since 2002, numbers have remained stable.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Corncrake coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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