Freshwater marshy areas, swamps, needs water and vegetation for cover
Wild: Worms, mollusks, crustaceans, insects, small fish, small frogs and tadpoles
Incubation: 13-19 days
Clutch size: 2-6 eggs, but usually 3
19-23 cm long with a short tail and long toes. It has mainly black plumage. The eye is red, the bill is yellow, and the legs and feet are red, duller when not breeding. The male is slightly larger than the female. Most males, and 10% of females have a hooked upper mandible. Immature birds have brown upperparts and a dark grey head and underparts. Downy chicks are black.
Behavior: Though it needs cover, it is often seen out in the open. It is extremely aggressive when breeding. It will forage on the ground or climb reeds to find prey including flying insects. It will perch on hippopotamuses and warthogs and remove parasites.
Reproduction: The nest is a deep neat bowl made from wetland plants and built in marsh vegetation, or on the ground in a dry location. It may also be constructed up to 3 m high in a bush. Eggs are cream or white with brown spots. Chicks leave the nest in 1-3 days, can fly by 5-6 weeks, and are independent at 6-12 weeks.
Did You Know?
The main call of the Black Crake is a duet, starting with a throaty chattering krrrok-kraaaa. The response is a dove-like cooing coo-crr-COO.