African Finfoot ( Podica senegalensis, family: Heliornithidae)

african finfoot kruger national park The African Finfoot (Latin name Podica senegalensis) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 229 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 314 also a picture of the African Finfoot on page 305. The African Finfoot belongs to the family of birds classified as Heliornithidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the African Finfoot is also known by these other names: Peter's Finfoot, Peters' Finfoot.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The African Finfoot is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a rare resident

In terms of distribution of the African Finfoot in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. African Finfoot : see above distribution map.

African Finfoot Kruger ParkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The African Finfoot is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow. The height of the African Finfoot is about 65 cms and its weight is about 650 gms

You will find that the male African Finfoot plumage and colours are different to that of the female African Finfoot

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is red.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are grey.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Finfoot feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Finfoot is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Podica senegalensis will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Finfoot is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are brown in colour and number between 1 to 3

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Finfoot are: wetlands and riverine areas

You will normally see the African Finfoot by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Watertrapper

German ... Afrikanische Binsenralle

Portuguese ... Ps-de-barbatanas

French ... Grbifoulque d'Afrique

Dutch ... Watertrapper

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 229

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,