Allen's Gallinule | Porphyrio alleni
The Allen's Gallinule is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Rallidae bird family group which includes birds such as Flufftails, Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, Swamphens, Moorhens, Coots.
The description for the Allen's Gallinule (Latin name Porphyrio alleni) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Porphyrio alleni can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 224 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 332. You will find a picture of the Allen's Gallinule on page 305.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
This bird is known as Lesser Gallinule in the Roberts 6th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Porphyrula alleni in the Roberts 6th Edition.
The Allen's Gallinule is known in Afrikaans as Kleinkoningriethaan.
The Allen's Gallinule has a height of 26 cms and weighs around 155 gms. The head is coloured blue while the bill is coloured pink. The Porphyrio alleni has a white coloured throat, blue legs and a blue, grey coloured back. The eyes are red.
The male Porphyrio alleni has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is blue
Eyes are red
Bill is pink
Legs are blue
Throat is white
Back is blue, grey
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 .
The Porphyrio alleni forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Allen's Gallinule 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 2 to 8 eggs and they are coloured pink.
The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.
The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.
The Allen's Gallinule is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The Allen's Gallinule is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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