997. Porphyrio alleni

997. Allen’s Gallinule.
Porphyrio alleni, T. R. H. Thompson, Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist. x. p. 204 (1842) ; Dresser, vii. p. 307, pl. 502 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiii. p. 187.
Canbonja-anganga, in West Africa.
Male ad. (Africa). Crown, nape, and sides of head black tinged with indigo-blue ; hind neck and upper parts deep olivaceous glossed with parrot-green ; quills and tail bluish black ; wing-coverts cobalt-blue tinged with green ; under parts deep blue, becoming blackish on the lower abdomen and thighs ; under tail-coverts, except the lowest layer, white ; bill dark red ; frontal shield dusky ; tarsi and feet crimson ; iris reddish brown. Culmen, with frontal shield, 1.85, wing 6.1, tail 2.6, tarsus 2.1 inch.
Female similar. The young bird has the head and hind neck rufescent sandy brown, the sides of the head paler ; upper parts umber-brown margined with clay-ochreous, the rump tinged with greenish blue ; chin, upper throat, and middle of breast and abdomen white ; lower throat, sides of neck, breast, and flanks warm ochreous clay, the under tail-coverts more rufous ; thighs chiefly bluish black ; bill and frontal plate reddish horn ; legs pale reddish brown ; iris light brown.
Hab. Africa generally ; Madagascar, and a straggler to the island of Rodriguez ; of rare and accidental occurrence in Italy and Spain ; and also, it is said, in Madeira and the Canaries.
In habits it is said to resemble Gallinula chloropus. It inhabits dense reed and papyrus thickets, and is shy and secretive. Its call-note is described as harsh, and is generally heard in the morning and evening. It feeds on aquatic plants, seeds, worms, and insects. So far as I can ascertain, nothing is on record as to its nidification, but an egg in the British Museum, extracted from the body of a bird shot on the Ruo river, British Central Africa, is pinkish cream-colour, marked, more thickly at the larger end, with underlying pale purple and reddish brown overlying surface specks, spots, and small blotches, and measures 1.4 by 1.05.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
997. Porphyrio alleni
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Allen’s Gallinule
Allen's Gallinule
Porphyrio alleni
Vol. 2

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