The Black Crake (Amaurornis flavirostra) is a waterbird from sub-Saharan Africa.
The Black Crake is a medium-sized bird with black feathers, with an olive-brown tone on its wings. It has a striking yellow beak, red eyes, red legs, and red feet with long toes. It has a short tail.
It can grow to 23 centimetres (9 inches) long.
The Black Crake likes wetlands with lots of vegetation, such as freshwater ponds, lakes, marshes, and swamps.
It is a diurnal bird, active during the day.
It feeds on invertebrates, such as insects, as well as fish, frogs, and seeds. It also feeds on the eggs of other birds. It also sits on warthogs and hippos to remove the parasites.
Both males and females makes a deep nest in plants on the ground. Females lay 2-6 creamy-white eggs with brown specks. Both parents look after the eggs, which hatch after 13-19 days. Both parents also look after the chicks.
The chicks are precocial – they are born with some feathers. They leave the nest after about three days, and can fly after 5-6 weeks. Parents continue to feed their chicks for 6-12 weeks.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM