An Eco-sustainable World
BirdsSpecies Animal

Zapornia parva

Zapornia parva

The little crake (Zapornia parva Scopoli, 1769) is a bird belonging to the Rallidae family.

Systematic –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota domain,
Kingdom Animalia,
Subkingdom Eumetazoa,
Superphylum Deuterostomia,
Phylum Chordata,
Subphylum Vertebrata,
Infraphylum Gnathostomata,
Superclass Tetrapoda,
(clade) Amniote,
Aves class,
Subclass Neornithes,
Superorder Neognathae,
Order Gruiformes,
Rallidae family,
Genus Zapornia,
Species Z. parva
The term is synonymous:
– Porzana parva (Scopoli, 1769).

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The Zapornia parva is a bird native to Europe and central Asia and lives mainly in the regions between eastern Europe and western Siberia, while in central Europe it is common only in the eastern and south-eastern regions.
Its range is included in the swamps of the western Palearctic plains, where it lives from sea level up to 430 m above sea level.
This species is most numerous in the steppes of Eastern Europe. To the north the range boundary is made up of the transition region between forest and steppe, while to the south it is the semi-desert belt.
In Central Europe, it is found mainly in the plains of Poland and eastern Germany, and in the so-called Pannonian plain. Minor and isolated populations are also present in western and south-western Europe.
This species winters in south-eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region, eastern Europe and North Africa. It abandons its nesting territories in October and returns there in March.
Its habitat is that of marshes, areas dominated by reeds and sedges, and by shrubby vegetation on the edges of bodies of water. It prefers the vegetation surrounding ponds and less extensive marshes, particularly on the banks of narrow canals with little water and riparian vegetation.
In Italy it is a localized and irregularly wintering breeding species.

Description –
The Zapornia parva is a bird with a length varying between 18 and 20 cm, a wingspan of 34-39 cm, and a weight of 35 – 60 grams.
The male can be recognized as its upper regions are olive-brown in colour, with whitish streaks and darker spots. The underparts are slate grey, as are the sides of the neck and face. The sides are grey. The beak is green with a red base. The legs and feet are green.
The female, on the other hand, has a white throat, and a yellowish chest and abdomen. The sides are brownish, streaked with gray and white. The beak is green with a red base and the legs are green.
The song is not very loud and is heard from a distance only at night, when the bird sings more frequently, although it sometimes sings during the day as well. The male’s alarm cry is a sort of loud, low croak, which alternately accelerates and fades.
Other types of calls may be heard during parades.

Biology –
The Zapornia parva is a bird that generally builds its nest among marsh vegetation, leaning against it or attached to its stems, at a certain height above the water. The nest is built by the female, with reeds and leaves of aquatic plants. It has a spherical shape and is made with an opening on the top.
The female lays 6-8 ocher colored eggs, with darker spots. Incubation is carried out by both partners and lasts approximately 21 days. The chicks move quickly among the vegetation, where they are fed by their parents.
The first flight occurs after about 50 days.

Ecological Role –
The Zapornia parva is a migratory bird with movements that occur at night. He rarely comes out into the open, especially in the evening. This bird swims more easily than others of the same genus and prefers reed beds immersed in shallow water.
Its diet is mainly based on insects, small molluscs, worms, seeds of aquatic plants, buds and leaves.

Guido Bissanti

– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
– C.Battisti, D. Taffon, F. Giucca, 2008. Atlas of nesting birds, Gangemi Editore, Rome.
– L. Svensson, K.Mullarney, D. Zetterstrom, 1999. Guide to the Birds of Europe, North Africa and the Near East, Harper Collins Publisher, United Kingdom.

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