Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Corncrake, or Landrail (Crex pratensis), a wading bird visiting Britain about May and leaving in autumn. It is about a foot long, with reddish-brown plumage, streaked with black on the upper surface. Corncrakes are exceedingly shy, and are far oftener heard than seen. The cry, which resembles the noise made by drawing the thumbnail or a piece of wood sharply across the teeth of a comb, is uttered only by the male, and ceases after incubation. Long grass and standing corn are their favourite haunts, and, though they swim well, they do not take to water unless compelled to do so. They are much valued for the table.