World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Watercock

Watercock
Male at Basai Wetlands, near Gurgaon, Haryana, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Gallicrex
Blyth, 1852
Species: G. cinerea
Binomial name
Gallicrex cinerea
(Gmelin, 1789)

The watercock (Gallicrex cinerea) is a waterbird in the rail and crake family Rallidae. It is the only member of the genus Gallicrex.

Their breeding habitat is swamps across south Asia from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to south China, Korea, Japan, Philippines and Indonesia. They nest in a dry location on the ground in marsh vegetation, laying 3-6 eggs. These large rails are mainly permanent residents throughout their range.

The body of this rail is flattened laterally to allow easier passage through the reeds or undergrowth. It has long toes and a short tail.

Adult male watercocks are 43 cm (17 in) long and weigh 476–650 g (1.049–1.433 lb).[2] They have mainly black-grey plumage with red legs, bill, extended frontal shield and horn. Young males are buff in colour, darkening as they mature. Their bill is yellow and their legs are green.

Female birds are smaller at 36 cm (14 in) and 298–434 g (10.5–15.3 oz).[2] They are dark brown above and paler below. the plumage is streaked and barred with darker markings. The bill is yellow and the legs are green. The downy chicks are black, as with all rails.

These birds probe with their bill in mud or shallow water, also picking up food by sight. They mainly eat insects and small fish and seeds. They forage on the ground.

Watercock are quite secretive, but are sometimes seen out in the open. They are noisy birds, especially at dawn and dusk, with a loud, gulping call.

References

  1. ^  
  2. ^ a b CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
  • Birds of India by Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.