Welcome to Wildlife Wednesdays.

Our weekly dive into our beautiful Irish wildlife.

This series will help your family reconnect with Ireland’s unique and wonderful wildlife.

Each week we cover a new animal or bird that appears in the Johnny Magory book series.

Johnny Magory in the Magical Wild
Click here to find out more about our books.

This week we cover the rate Corncrake at Ballynafagh Lake, Co. Kildare Ireland.

Here’s some key facts to recap:

  • Lifespan is from 2-6 years.
  • The scientific name is Crex crex which is derived from the loud male call of “krek krek”. They are known to sing at night-time during spring and summer.
  • The kerrx-kerrx sound of the corncrake has been compared with two cheese-graters rubbed together (let your Little Explorer have a listen on YouTube)
  • These birds are extremely endangered however a glimmer of hope in preventing their extinction is evident. The State’s bid to save the corncrake from national extinction received a boost last year with the number of calling males increasing by 8 per cent to 151.
  • They are a medium-sized crake with buff- or grey-streaked brownish-black upperparts, chestnut markings on the wings, and blue-grey underparts with rust-coloured and white bars on the flanks and undertail.
  • Downy chicks are black.
  • This secretive species builds a nest of grass leaves in a hollow in the ground and lays 6–14 cream-coloured eggs which are covered with rufous blotches.
  • They are a migratory bird and fly back to Africa every winter.
  • The corn crake is omnivorous but mainly feeds on invertebrates, the occasional small frog or mammal, and plant material including grass seed and cereal grain.
  • Listen to the unmistakable call of the corncrake here

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