Tag Archives: HANZAB

Baillon’s Crake’s migration mystery

The only place I have regularly seen the Baillon’s Crake:adults and juveniles, is at the Crake Pit at the Western Treatment Plant. According to HANZAB (Handbook of Australian New Zealand Antarctic Birds) it is probably migratory but as it does not call in Winter it is hard to know for sure…however considering how many people are currently visiting the crake pit to look for and photograph the Lewin’s Rail it surely would be seen quite often. On our numerous trips over Summer and Autumn we saw quite a few Baillon’s and they did not appear to be overly shy, often coming right out from under cover. Given the lack of reporting lately I would guess that it does migrate to Northern Australian. It is a very small bird with long olive legs and large feet to help it move across the sodden vegetation.  It has small wings so a long flight north is an amazing feat of endurance.

Baillon’s Crake’s formal name is Porazana pusilla (Porzana:Italian dialect for ‘smaller crake’ and pusilla meaning ‘very small’ or ‘paltry’. It has also been called Lesser Spotted Crake, Tiny, Little, Little Water and Marsh Crake. 

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crake,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon’s Crake, Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Baillon's Crakes,  Western Treatment Plant, Victoria

Sun-baking and preening at a midday roost…