Corn Crake: Medium rail, buff-yellow overall with brown-barred flanks, conspicuous chestnut wing patch, gray head and neck with dark crown, yellow bill. Eats worms, insects, snails, slugs, sometimes seeds and grains. Weak flight with legs dangling, drops back into vegetation after a short distance.
Range and Habitat
Corn Crake: Very rare fall visitor to the east coast, but sightings have dropped significantly as European populations have declined.
Corncrake is a misnomer - birds rarely nest in cornfields. Favourite sites are in long grass and amongst tall weeds and damp places.
The "crex-crex" sound of the corncrake has been compared with two cheese-graters rubbed together, producing a sound so monotonous as to qualify the bird as the world's worst singer
Towards the end of the 19th century their population had started to decline as machine mowing of hay started. The hay was cut early so that the birds were unable to raise their young.
A group of corn crakes are collectively known as a "bowl", "box", and "cob" of crakes.