Corncrake Couple


Cornrake couple stone sculpture

Corncrakes (or Land Rails as they are sometimes known) are rather secretive birds, usually taking refuge in tall vegetation where they search for insects and seeds.

They’re summer visitors to Britain, arriving mid April.  The male will look for a suitable breeding site and start to sing for a mate.  Once the mating has occurred he goes off to find a different location and continues to sing to attract another partner.  The female incubates and rears the young by herself.

The nest is built on the ground concealed by undergrowth near the singing site.  The nest is cup-shaped and shallow, lined with dead leaves from nearby plants.  Stems are often pulled over to form a loose cover.

When the brood are a couple of days old they begin to leave the nest and follow their mother, who feeds them until they’re independent at around 10-15 days.


Corncrake sculpture close view

There have been serious declines in numbers of Corncrake over the last few decades, so serious that it is feared they will become extinct within ten to twenty years.  Conservation measures have slowed the decline but there remains plenty to be done.  Habitat loss due to drainage, agricultural intensification and modern mowing practices are major threats.

This Corncrake Couple sculpture is carved in Yorkstone and will be part of NEST exhibition at Watermark Gallery in Harrogate.





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