Gray-breasted Crake Laterallus exilis

  • © Joao Quental JQuental

The Gray-breasted Crake is widespread in Central and South America from southern Mexico to southeast Brazil. It occurs in a wide variety of marshy vegetation along riverbanks, lake edges and west grassy habitat. In certain areas of its range it can be quite common and its basic natural history is relatively well known. It feeds primarily in shallow standing water where it forages for earthworms, spiders, insects and seeds. It also navigates its often dense habitat with ‘runways’ under the grass in a manner similar to many rodents. Within its expansive range it has a patchy distribution and remains unrecorded from large areas of seemingly appropriate habitat. Rather than suggesting poorly understood habitat requirements, this patchy distribution is more likely indicative of the species’ secretive nature and oversight by observers. Indeed knowledge of the Gray-breasted Crake’s vocalizations will be especially important as further surveys expand our knowledge of Neotropical bird distribution.

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© Kristof Zyskowski

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Gray-breasted Crake (Laterallus exilis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: