Corncrakes on Skye 2016

<< Back to listing

04th May 2016


Although not ideal summer conditions, corncrakes are returning to our shores to breed. The corncrake is an extremely rare bird, particularly on Skye, but we have at least two males calling on the island just now. I’m hoping that a few more will turn up so am very keen for your reports. Corncrakes are famous for their ability to be heard but not seen and they spend most of their time hiding in tall vegetation. In May they’re likely to be amongst the flag iris, reeds, nettles, or indeed any rough field margins. They move into the hay and silage meadows as those grasses start to grow. The repetitive, rasping call of the male is best heard late at night but they do call through the day too. They are found mainly on croft land but please don’t go into the meadows. It is best to listen for them from the roadside to avoid damaging the hay and silage.

If you hear a corncrake (day or night!) I would really appreciate a call, email or text saying where you heard it and when. Or let Bob at know. All reports from Skye Birds visitors are extremely helpful with the summer survey. If you would like to know more about the work RSPB is doing on Skye for corncrakes please get in touch. Thanks and have a great summer!

All reports are greatly appreciated either through this website or directly to Shelagh Parlane on 07771545409 or email