Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Mississippi
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Vilella, F. J., J. A. Cruz-Burgos, and M. López-Flores. 2011. Nesting biology of the Yellow-breasted Crake Porzana flaviventer in Puerto Rico. Waterbirds 34(3): 363-368.


The Yellow-breasted Crake, Porzana flaviventer is one of the least known waterbirds in the West Indies. A single nesting record from 1925 exists for Puerto Rico. The species is known to inhabit densely vegetated freshwater wetlands. In 1996 we began a wetland restoration project at the Humacao Nature Reserve in southeastern Puerto Rico. We first recorded the Yellow-breasted Crake in managed impoundments of the Humacao Nature Reserve in May 2001. After this, we repeatedly detected Yellow-breasted Crakes and located 15 nests in approximately 13 ha of newly created wetlands during 2001 and 2002. To our knowledge this is the largest sample of nests recorded for the species. Nests were most commonly found in Eleocharis mutata, Cyperus ligularis, and Paspalum vaginatum. Mean clutch size was 3.73 (± 0.31) and brood size 2.71 (± 0.5). Hatching success was 65% and nesting success 40%; six nests were depredated. The response by the Yellow-breasted Crake at the Humacao Nature Reserve suggests restoration and management of herbaceous coastal wetlands in Puerto Rico can address habitat needs of waterbird species of concern. Additional research is required to develop abundance estimates and habitat relationships for this rare and secretive species of Neotropical waterbird.