Alice Springs Waste Stabilisation Ponds

The Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea), is also known as the Australian Crake or the Spotted Crake. It is one of three species of Australian crakes in the genus Porzana.

Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, NT © Dorothy Latimer
Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, NT © Dorothy Latimer

Whilst similar in appearance and behaviour to the Baillon’s Crake (Porzana pusilla), the Australian Spotted Crake is a stockier bird, is darker in overall appearance and lacks the distinctive barred undertail of the Baillon’s Crake.

Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, NT © Dorothy Latimer
Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, NT © Dorothy Latimer

The Australian Spotted Crake has a sooty coloured face with dark grey/blue breast, belly and throat. It has brown upperparts and crown, that are streaked black and white, and has barred black and white flanks. The shorter undertail coverts are black whilst the longer undertail coverts are white, that form a distinctive upside down V when the tail is cocked.

The bill is yellow-green with red base to the upper mandible, has red iris, and the legs and feet are a yellow-green in colour.

The Australian Spotted Crake is endemic to Australia, found throughout southeast and Western Australia, not so common in Tasmania and the tropical areas of northern Australia.

The Australian Spotted Crake are found living in both coastal and inland habitats, that include freshwater, brackish, terrestrial and marine environments. They prefer densely vegetated areas waterway habitats, with their range extending inland regions of Central Australia, especially after periods of high rainfall.

The photographs presented here were taking over the years in the month of May, June, July and December (particularly after rainfall).

Check out our Fauna section on Birds.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Rallidae
  • Genus: Porzana
  • Species: Porzana fluminea

Footnote & References

  1. Australian Spotted Crake (Porzana fluminea), iNaturalistAU,

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