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Description: Manx name: Eean Raip (the bird which cries 'raip').

Corncrake (Crex crex). One of only two taxidermy mounts of this species in the collections. Both are old and rather faded, and represent a time when corncrakes were relatively common on farmland in the Isle of Man.

During the twentieth century, corncrake populations declined alarmingly throughout the range of the species, including the Isle of Man. Changes in farm practices led to losses of late hay meadows and tall vegetation upon which these secretive birds depended for breeding. Corncrake chicks were also vulnerable to to injury from increasingly mechanised mowing regimes. Lately, better awareness of the birds' needs and sensitive habitat management have given corncrakes a chance to come back in some areas. Since 1999, a few pairs have at last returned to breed in the Isle of Man, mostly in old secluded meadows in the north of the Island.

Corncrakes are related to the moorhen and coot and the less familiar water rail. Indeed they are sometimes referred to as 'land rails'. They are summer visitors to the Isle of Man, and are very occasionally seen as they pass through on migration. The call of the male bird in the breeding season is a loud and unmistakeable monotonous rasping sound, often lasting into dusk and through the night.

References: Sharpe, C.M. (ed) 2007. Manx Bird Atlas. Liverpool University Press; Cullen, J.P. & Jennings, P.P. 1986 Birds of the Isle of Man. Bridgeen Publications, Douglas, Isle of Man

Taxonomic name: crex crex

Collection: Natural History Zoology Collection

ID number: 1954-1945


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