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Conservation status: Red

Corncrakes are related to moorhens, coots and rails but differ from most members of the family in that they live on dry land. They are very secretive, spending most of their time hidden in tall vegetation, their presence only betrayed by their rasping call. In flight their bright chestnut wings and trailing legs are unmistakable. They are summer visitors and migrate to Africa for the winter.



Latin name

Crex crex


Rails (Rallidae)

Where to see them

Best looked and listened for on the Western Isles. RSPB reserves at Balranald and Coll provide some of the best opportunities.

When to see them

Arrives from mid-April and leaves again in August and September. Best located by call which can be heard both day and night.

What they eat

Insects and seeds.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-1,200 males--



In the UK
W Scotland


Mathias Ritschard, Xeno-canto

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