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The black crake (Amaurornis flavirostra) is a waterbird in the rail and crake family, Rallidae. It breeds in most of sub-Saharan Africa except in very arid areas
The adult black crake is 7.5–9.1 in long with a short tail and long toes. The adult has mainly black plumage, with a brown olive tone on the wings and upperparts. The eye is red, the bill is yellow and the legs and feet are red, duller when not breeding. The sexes are similar, but the male is slightly larger. Most males, but only 10% of females, have a hooked upper mandible. The immature bird has brown upperparts and a dark grey head and underparts. Its bill is greenish yellow, and its feet and legs are dull red. The chicks are black.
When conditions are suitable, black crakes can breed year-round. They make floating nests out of aquatic plants or on land hidden in grass. The nest is a deep, neat bowl made from wetland plants and built by both sexes in marsh vegetation or on the ground in a dry location.
The eggs are cream or white, and spotted with brown or chestnut. Both parents, sometimes assisted by the young from previous broods, incubate for 13–19 days to hatching. The chicks leave the nest in 1–3 days, but are fed by parents and helpers for several weeks. They can fly by 5–6 weeks, and are independent at 6–12 weeks.
Black crakes feed on aquatic invertebrates, small frogs and tadpoles, insects, small fish and the eggs of some birds. In captivity: mealworms and Paradise Earth Premium Insect Blend.