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Watercock - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India, 4 July 2016
Gallicrex cinerea


Male 42–43 cm (16½-17 in); Female 36 cm (14 in)

  • Blackish-grey
  • Red legs, bill, forehead shield and horn

Young males

  • Buff, darkening with age
  • Yellow bill
  • Green legs
Photo © by SeeToh
Singapore Botanic Gardens, 7 February 2012


  • Dark brown upperparts
  • Paler underparts
  • Streaked and barred with darker markings
  • Yellow bill
  • Green legs

Chicks are black.


South Asia from India and Sri Lanka to south China, Japan and Indonesia.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Head closeup showing forehead shield and horn
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Basai Wetland, Gurgaon, Haryana, India, 18 June 2015

Lowlands marshes, swamps, rice fields, flooded pastures etc.



They nest on the dry ground in marsh vegetation. Their clutch consists of 3-6 eggs.


Their diet consists mostly of green shoots, seeds and rice. They also eat worms, molluscs, aquatic insect and larva.


Recording by Alok Tewari
Keoladeo National Park, India, July-2016
A male is giving his trademark grunting call, partially hidden in grass.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2015)
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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