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Dr Frank Rennie launched his new book about the corncrake in Stornoway yesterday evening. (Thursday October 6)
Although much has been written about the loud and often annoying bird that has become so synonymous with the Hebrides, this new book The Corncrake: An Ecology of an Enigma is the only one that is actually all about the corncrake itself.
By covering all aspects of its ecology from its habitat, its annual migration and the reasons as to why it is only in the last few decades that we have begun to understand its habits as well as its numbers, this book brings together many strands. It contains more than 700 references to works already published whether in volumes or journals.
Dr Rennie, until recently Professor of Sustainable Rural Development at UHI Outer Hebrides, explained that this Schedule 1 species, known as crex crex in undoubted tribute to the males’ rasping call, spends our summer here in the Hebrides and north-west of Scotland primarily and then heads off to south-east Africa for its second non-mating summer.
Although its Scottish numbers have stabilised and may even be recovering, Dr Rennie said that much needs to be done to improve monitoring and conservation. Corncrake tourism is now being mooted as a way to spread the word about this fascinating creature.

Interview with Dr Frank Rennie:

The Corncrake: An Ecology of an Enigma costs £18.95
It is published by Whittles.  (
When first published, this article contained an incorrect reference to the publisher. We apologise for this error.