Upper parts olivaceous with a few white streaks; wings without spots, reaching to the extremity of the tail: bill and legs sap-green.
Gallinula pusilla, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 690. Little Crake, Selb. Illust. vol. ii. p. 185. pl. 30*. f. 4. Little and Olivaceous Gallinules, Mont. Orn. Diet. Supp. with figs. Little Gallinule, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 134.
Entire length seven inches nine lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) eight lines and a half, (from the gape) nine lines; of the naked part of the tibia five lines; of the tarsus one inch one line and a half; of the middle toe, claw included, one inch seven lines; of the tail one inch seven lines and a half; from the carpus to the end of the wing three inches ten lines and a half.
(Adult male). Throat, sides of the head and neck, breast and belly, deep bluish gray, without spots: crown of the head, and all the upper parts, olivaceous green, with the centres of the feathers dusky; on the back a large blackish patch, marked with a few longitudinal white streaks: abdomen and flanks with indistinct transverse bars of white and brown; under tail-coverts black, barred with white: bill longer and more slender than in the last species, of a fine sap-green, somewhat reddish at the base: irides red: legs and toes sap-green. (Adult female). Sides of the head pale cinereous; throat whitish; front of the neck, breast and belly, reddish ash; thighs and abdomen cinereous; under tail-coverts tipped with white; all the upper parts reddish brown; on the back a large dusky patch, sparingly spotted with white; wing-coverts olivaceous ash. (Young). Colours paler; the whole of the throat whitish; fore-neck and upper breast light buff; the white marks on the upper part of the back very few in number; flanks brown, with transverse white bars. (Egg). Light olive-brown, spotted with darker brown: long, diam. one inch two lines; trans, diam. nine lines and a half.
Like the last, a very rare and only occasional visitant in this country. Montagu's specimen was shot near Ashburton, in Devonshire, in 1809. Others have been since killed in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk. Common in the eastern parts of Europe. Haunts and food similar to those of the last species. Nest said to be placed amongst reeds and other aquatic herbage. Eggs seven or eight in number. Obs. The Olivaceous Gallinule of Montagu is supposed to be the adult state, and the Little Gallinule of the same author the young, of this species.