African Finfoot | Podica senegalensis | Birds & Birding Southern Africa

The African Finfoot is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Heliornithidae bird family group which includes birds such as Heliornithidae, which are Finfoots.

Robert's Birding Information On The African Finfoot

Adult male African FinfootThe description for the African Finfoot (Latin name Podica senegalensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Podica senegalensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 229 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 314. You will find a picture of the African Finfoot on page 305.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the African Finfoot between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The African Finfoot is known as a "lifer" in the birding circles of South Africa.

The African Finfoot is known in Afrikaans as Watertrapper.

The African Finfoot has a height of 65 cms and weighs around 650 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured red. The Podica senegalensis has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Podica senegalensis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

African Finfoot Colouration

Head is black

Eyes are brown

Bill is red

Legs are grey

Throat is white

Back is brown

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Adult African Finfoot
Female Adult Similar to male.
Juvenile  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

African Finfoot Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

African Finfoot Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The African Finfoot is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured brown.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The African Finfoot is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

The African Finfoot is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.