Scientific Name: Gallicrex cinerea
Malay Name: Ayam-ayam Tanduk
Chinese Name: 董鸡
Range: Found from Indian subcontinent to southern China, Japan and Southeast Asia. Northern populations winter to Southeast Asia.
Size: M:41-43 cm, F:31-36 cm
Identification: Non-breeding male and female have buff brown plumage with bold dark streaks on the upperparts, narrow barrings on the underparts and yellowish-green bill and legs. Male is significantly larger and has thicker bill than female. Breeding male has black body with streaked buff-brown back, mostly yellowish bill and red frontal shield that extends over the head. Juvenile resembles female.
Habitat: Freshwater wetlands, marshy grasslands and well vegetated ponds in parks/gardens.
Behaviour/Ecology: Usually solitary and skulk in thick cover, occasionally coming out to feed in the open.
Local Status: Uncommon migrant
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)
Location: Recent sightings were at Singapore Botanic Gardens, Japanese Garden, Kranji Marsh, Lorong Halus, Seletar and Tuas.
Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
Watercock Gallicrex cinerea Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
BirdLife International. (2016). Gallicrex cinerea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22692789A93369824.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Bird Society of Singapore. (n.d.). Watercock. Retrieved on November 21, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/watercock.