Heliornis senegalensis Vieillot 17, Senegal. Four subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Peter’s finfoot; French: Grйbifoulque d’Afrique; German: Binsenralle; Spanish: Avesol Africano. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS 13.8–23.2 in (35–59 cm); 0.74–1.93 lb (338–879 g). Orange feet, brown or blackish back with variable white spotting. Underside light with variable barring.
P. s. senegalensis: Senegal east to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Uganda, northwestern Tanzania and Ethiopia; P. s. somereni: Kenya and northeastern Tanzania; P. s. camerunensis: southern Cameroon, Congo and northern Democratic Republic of Congo; P. s. petersii: Angola east to Mozambique and south to eastern South Africa.
Permanent rivers, streams, and still waterbodies densely fringed with reeds and overhanging trees; also mangroves and flooded forests.
Territorial, each pair defending several hundred yards (meters) of waterway.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Forages in water and on land, taking invertebrates and small vertebrates.
Breeds when water levels are high. Monogamous; lays two to three eggs; incubation at least 12 days, by female; young semiprecocial.
Widespread; locally quite common but uncommon in eastern Africa and considered Vulnerable in South Africa.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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