Black-tailed Crake  Porzana bicolor


  • Porzana : Local Venetian names for smaller crakes
  • Bicolor : Bi- two; color – colour

 Distribution in India: Resident of Eastern Himalayas & North East India.

Description: It has a size of 20–22 cm. It has a rufous-brown upperparts contrast with ash-grey head, neck and underparts. The tail is black; bill is pale bluish green with pale tip and red patch near base. The iris is blood red; orbital skin is pink. The legs and feet are dull to bright red. Both the sexes are alike. The juvenile has blackish-streaked upperparts and more brownish underparts. The Immature similar to adult but with brown iris.

Habitat: It is found in forest patches in and around rice cultivation; swampy patches and streams in forest; grass-bordered streams and pools, often shaded by trees; small marshes in grass and cultivation; sometimes wet grassland; often in very dense cover, but will feed in open. It is found from 1000–3600m.

Food habits: It eats  worms, molluscs, insects, and seeds of marsh plants. It feeds with rapid pecking motion, wings drooped, tail cocked and frequently jerked. It emerges at edge of cover to feed in early morning and evening, but if alarmed, rapidly retreats to cover, if necessary flying or swimming.

Breeding habits: They breed in Mid-May to Aug in Khasi Hills, SC Meghalaya (NE India).They are monogamous. The nest is a rough pad of loosely assembled twigs and grass, with a slight central depression; built on wet ground in forest undergrowth; placed above ground in bushes or trees.  Both sexes build the nest. They lay a clutch of 5-8 eggs. The incubation is by both sexes.