Above olive-brown, with dusky streaks and white spots; beneath cinereous olive, spotted with white.
Gallinula Porzana, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. 11. p. 688. Spotted Crake, Selb. Illust. vol. 11. p. 179. pl. 30*. f. 1, & 2. Spotted Gallinule, Mont. Orn. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. 11. p. 132.
Entire length nine inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) nine lines and a quarter, (from the gape) ten lines and a half; of the tarsus one inch four lines and a half; of the naked part of the tibia six lines; of the middle toe, claw included, one inch eight lines; of the tail two inches; from the carpus to the end of the wing four inches eight lines; breadth, wings extended, fifteen inches two lines.
(Adult male). Crown of the head, back, scapulars and rump, olive-brown, with a dusky spot in the middle of each feather, all except the first elegantly spotted and streaked with pure white: forehead, throat, and a broad streak above the eyes, ash-gray, the latter speckled with white; nape thickly spotted with black ana white; cheeks cinereous, speckled with black; fore part of the neck and breast pale olivaceous, tinged with ash-gray, and spotted with white; belly and vent cinereous white; flanks marked with transverse bars of white, black, and olivaceous brown: quills brown: wing-coverts olivaceous brown, sparingly spotted with white: bill greenish yellow, passing into orange-yellow at the base: irides reddish hazel: legs and toes yellowish green. In the female, the cheeks have a reddish tinge, and are speckled with brown. (Egg). Pale reddish white, spotted and speckled with dark red brown: long. diam. one inch three lines; trans, diam. eleven lines.
Sparingly distributed over many parts of the kingdom, frequenting marshes, the banks of rivers, and other watery places. Is usually considered as a migratory species, retiring at the approach of Winter, but it is highly probable that many individuals remain with us throughout the year. It is certainly to be met with from early in March to the middle of November. Is fond of concealing itself in the thickest covert, amongst reeds and rushes, in which situations it is not easily roused. Nest rudely constructed of aquatic plants, and said to float upon the water. Eggs eight to twelve in number. Food, similar to that of the last species.