Friday, April 22

Masked finfoot

   ›      ›   Masked finfoot - Heliopais personatus.

The masked finfoot (Heliopais personatus) belongs to the family Heliornithidae. The masked finfoot species are distributed in the Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Taxonomy of Masked finfoot

  • Scientific Name: Heliopais personatus
  • Common Name: Masked finfoot
  • French: Grébifoulque d’Asie; German: Maskenbinsenralle; Spanish: Avesol asiático;
  • Other names: Podica personata; Heliopais personata; Asian finfoot;
  • Family: Heliornithidae › Gruiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (G.R. Gray, 1849)
Heliopais personatus is closely related to Podica senegalensis (African finfoot) and Heliornis fulica (sungrebe).

Indian bird - Masked finfoot - Heliopais personatus
Indian bird - Masked finfoot - Heliopais personatus
Indian birds - Heliopais personatus
Heliopais personatus

Description

The masked finfoot is a medium sized aquatic bird, measuring 45 to 55 cm in length. The males and females are similar in size. Both the genders have a black mask and eyebrow. They also have a white eye-ring and lateral cervical stripe. The male has brown eyes, black throat and horns whereas the female lacks horns and has yellow eyes and whitish chin and throat. The bill is bright yellow in males and is creamy yellow in females. Males have bright green legs and feet. They are known to make bubbling sounds and clacking calls.

Habitat

These finfoot species inhabit lowland riverine forests, mangroves, tidal creeks, vegetated wetlands, overgrown ponds, flooded forests, swamps, lakes, fresh and brackish wetlands.

Feeding habits

The masked finfoot species feed on adults and larval aquatic invertebrates, dragonflies, crustaceans, mollusks, fish and frogs. They may move on to the banks to forage.

Breeding

The masked finfoot is believed to breed in the rainy season during June to September. It builds nest with small sticks, long leaves, grass and reeds. The clutch usually has three to seven eggs. The chicks are feed with small fish, insects and shrimp.

Distribution

The masked finfoot species are distributed in Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Movement Patterns

The masked finfoot migrant populations are observed in some parts of Southeast Asia. These finfoot species usually move around only in their range.

Status and conservation

The masked finfoot global population is estimated to be around 2,500 birds. Disturbances in the wetland habitats of these birds had caused a steep decline in the population. Agricultural operations, forest clearance and filling up of the wetlands are the major threats to the survival of these species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these finfoot species and has listed them as "Endangered".

Biological classification of Heliopais personatus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Heliornithidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Heliopais
Species:H. personatus
Binomial name:Heliopais personatus
Distribution:Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia;
Feeding habits:adults and larval aquatic invertebrates, dragonflies, crustaceans, mollusks, fish and frogs;
IUCN status listing:
Endangered

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