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Rallidae are a family of birds that belongs to the Gruiformes order, which is represented in Poland by eight species. A common feature of this group are the small size (14 – 50cm), stocky and flexible body, short tail and relatively long legs and fingers.

These birds inhabit wet meadows, reed beds and scrub of the reservoirs coastal zone. Due to the preferred habitat and secretive lifestyle and unwillingness to take even a short flight during breeding, they are often difficult object of observation and research. Some birdwatchers call them the family easier to "catch" by ear than the eye, because territorial males give very characteristic, mechanical-like noises. Rallidae are often heard before dawn or in the evening and night. In fact they prefer in their activity a time just before and after a daytime. In areas with extensive agriculture and in the wasteland the Corn Crake (Crex crex), calling Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus), Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) and Spotted Crake (Porzana Porzana) can be heard in the narrow zone of coastal scrub.

All Rallidae are precocial species. They may derive up to four clutch in the season. Generally monogamous, sometimes freely choose the triangles - one male and two females. Breeding success data are very limited due to the secret lifestyle of these birds which makes it hard for ornithological observations. The most numerous and best known species in Poland is Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra). This water bird with black plumage and distinctive facial shield is most associated with aquatic environment representative of its family. It is probably the most common game for mammals predating on nests. The project is focused on invasive species pressure on this bird and many other Rallidae. We will try to define the fitness and trends of the population of this bird family in areas covered by our actions.

Project is co-financed by European Commission and National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in the Life+ Programme.
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