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.
Featured reports: Mar 2022, Dec 2022, Jan 2023, Feb 2023, Mar 2023, Apr 2023
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link
eBird Species page: eBird (Watercock)
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.
Singapore Birds Project. (n.d.). Watercock. Retrieved on May 30, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/watercock.