Crakes and Rails are small to medium sized birds ranging from 23cm to 38 cm many of which are wetland birds. They are ground feeding birds that live among wetlands or water sources and like to eat insects, snail, plant life and some fish. These birds tend to lay a relatively high number of eggs in a clutch in particular on this page the coot which is often seen in rivers as you walk down the water side.
Coots eat snails and insects. Present all year round throughout nearly all of Britain. The nest is built above the water level of reeds. Good levels of breeding pairs boosted with winter visitors. The adult Coot is mainly black with a distinctive bill and forehead. The chicks are similar but with brightly coloured heads. Juveniles have a whiteish face and neck with a grey underside. The hen can lay up to twenty eggs which are independent in around 8 weeks. Includes Coot bird call.
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The Corncrake eat insects and seeds. Mainly located in Ireland and Northern Scotland. The nest is made of dead grass on a flat pad among long grass. Limited numbers as they can only survive in areas where unmechanised forms of reaping are performed. The Crake has red-brown patches on it's wings, brown streaked upper parts and a sandy-brown underside. Eight to as many as twelve eggs are laid and incubated solely by the female Corncrake for around 17 days. The fledglings fly within three days. Includes Corncrake bird call.
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Moorhen foods include: seeds, fruit, grasses, insects, snails, worms and small fish. Located throughout Britain. The nest either floating or at the waterside is made of dried water plants. Common and widespread across most of the UK. The Moorhen has a red bill and forehead just as a Coot has white. They also have a white under-tail. Can lay up to 5-10 eggs in a clutch. Includes Moorhen bird call.
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Spotted Crake Bird
Spotted Crake eat insects, worms, small fish and plant materials. Rarely seen in Britain. They make a cup shaped nest of leaves and stems of grass. Very rare in the UK. The Spotted Crake has a small yellowy-red bill, brown underside with white spots With a clutch of 8-12 eggs the duties are shared among both parents. Includes Spotted Crake bird call.
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Water Rail Bird
The Water Rail are known to small fish, snails and insects. Located in most parts of Britain. Near a lake or river the nest is built of dead stalks and leaves. Present all year. They have strongly marked light and dark specked wings and back, a black and grey striped flank, grey-silver underside and a long red bill. The Water Rail lays between six and twelves eggs which hatch in about 3 weeks. One parent tends to find food whilst the other stands guard of their young. Includes Water Rail bird call.
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