Black-tailed Native-hen

The Black-tailed Native-hen (Gallinula ventralis)is a species of bird in the rail family, Rallidae. It is native to Australia and New Zealand. This species is nomadic, following seasonal water sources. It is found year round living near fresh and brackish water. It is very common in Australia and has a wide range.

The Black-tailed Native-hen is a large dark bird, reaching about 15 inches in length and weighing around 14 ounces. This species possesses an erect tail and is covered almost entirely in brownish-gray and green feathers. Its long legs and lower jaw are a striking pink-orange color. This species is not excessively vocal, its main call is an alarming ‘kak’ sound.

Breeding generally takes place between August and December or when conditions are favorable. A cup-shaped nest is built in vegetation near water or swampland. 5-7 pale green eggs are laid and incubated for approximately 20 days. Its diet consists of insects, plant material and seeds. In farming areas, the Black-tailed Native-hen is capable of causing crop damage.