Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Watercock (Gallicrex cinerea)


Taxonomy

French: Râle à crête German: Wasserhahn Spanish: Gallineta crestada
Taxonomy:

Fulica cinerea

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

China

.

Relationships uncertain. Monotypic.

Distribution:

Pakistan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka E to C & E China, Korea, S Japan and S Ryukyu Is, and S through Andamans, Nicobars and SE Asia to Sumatra and Philippines. Winters S to Greater and Lesser Sundas and Sulawesi.

Descriptive notes

Male 42–43 cm, 300–650 g; female 34·5–36 cm, 200–434 g; wingspan 68–86 cm. Large moorhen-like rail with slimmer, long-necked appearance.... read more

Voice

Noisy in breeding season, with 3 types of call, all produced fairly continuously and rhythmically... read more

Habitat

Reedy or grassy swamps, flooded pasture, rice fields, irrigated sugar cane, and rush-bordered... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds largely on seeds and shoots of “green crops”, and wild and cultivated rice, but also takes worms, molluscs, aquatic... read more

Breeding

India and Pakistan, mostly Jun–Sept (monsoon months); Sri Lanka, May, also Jan–Feb and possibly Jul–Aug; Maldives, Jun... read more

Movements

Most birds from N China and Korea apparently migrate or disperse S for winter, but extent of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Formerly reckoned to be common over much of range. Currently regarded as common winter visitor Sumatra (perhaps breeding only... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Watercock (Gallicrex cinerea). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53680 on 20 January 2019).