AvianDiversity » A Connoisseur's Eye » Birds » Rails, Crakes and Coots » Watercock (Gallicrex cinerea - (Gmelin) 1789)

Watercock (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. The male is blue-black with red legs, a strongly conical red bill, and a protruding red frontal shield. The female is mottled and barred yellowish brown. The water cock is troublesome in rice fields, where it likes to nest. It is hunted for its flesh and its eggs. They nest in a dry location on the ground in marsh vegetation, laying 3-6 eggs. 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.