crake

crake

[kreyk]
noun
any of several short-billed rails, especially the corn crake.

Origin:
1275–1325; Middle English < Old Norse krākr, krāki crow

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World English Dictionary
crake (kreɪk)
 
n
zoology any of several rails that occur in the Old World, such as the corncrake and the spotted crake
 
[C14: from Old Norse krāka crow or krākr raven, of imitative origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

crake

any of numerous marsh birds of the family Rallidae (order Gruiformes), generally any small rail (q.v.) in which the bill is short and conical. The name is chiefly European but can be extended to New World rails of this type. The most widespread genus is Porzana (13 species), typified by the spotted crake (P. porzana) found in Europe and eastward to Mongolia; in winter it reaches southern Asia and northern Africa. It is a brown bird 25 cm (10 inches) long with a light-spotted breast and buffy undertail. Its New World counterpart is the sora, or Carolina rail (P. carolina). The sora is about 23 cm (9 inches) long and grayish brown with black on the face and throat, with a short yellow bill. Other Porzana species are Baillon's crake (P. pusilla), occurring in parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand; the spotless crake (P. tabuensis), ranging from Australia to the Philippines; and the little crake (P. parva), a relatively common Eurasian form

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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