A Corncrake Dawn in the Basses Vallées Angevines (Lower Anjou Valleys) A male Corncrake defining its territory G. Mourgaud compiling biometric data (LPO Anjou)
Inondation sur la moyenne vallée de l'Oise Testing the “friendly bar” mower in Normandy Direct destruction of breeding habitat by planting poplar

Biology & ecology

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Classification and description

The Corncrake (Crex crex) is a member of the Rallidae. This family, which occurs on all continents, contains 133 species. These are mainly aquatic and tend to nest in wetlands.


Habitat and behaviour

Habitat In France, the Corncrake occurs mainly in hay meadows within alluvial valleys. Pairs settle directly in such areas when they return from migration. The habitat used by the species must satisfy certain criteria. Thus, clumps of tall vegetation (reeds, reed canary-grass, rumex, (...)



The Corncrake only breeds in Eurasia. It is distributed from the Atlantic to the heart of Siberia, and from Scandinavia in the North to areas around the Black Sea in the South. More than 90 % of the population nests in Asia (Russia, Georgia, Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and (...)


Migration and wintering

The Corncrake leaves its breeding sites in August. Migration to North Africa is between September and October. Arrival at the wintering sites (mostly South of the Equator) is around November, in the rainy season.