Allen's Gallinule ( Porphyrio alleni, family: Rallidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Lesser Gallinule

allens gallinule kruger national park birds The Allen's Gallinule (Latin name Porphyrio alleni) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 224 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 332 also a picture of the Allen's Gallinule on page 305. The Allen's Gallinule belongs to the family of birds classified as Rallidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Allen's Gallinule is also known by these other names: Allen's Reedhen, Lesser Reedhen.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Allen's Gallinule was called the Lesser Gallinule. The Robert's 7 Latin name for Allen's Gallinule has changed from Porphyrula alleni in Robert's 6 to Porphyrio alleni.

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 Allen's Gallinule is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a rare summer resident

In terms of distribution of the Allen's Gallinule in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Allen's Gallinule : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Allen's Gallinule is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Allen's Gallinule is about 26 cms and its weight is about 155 gms

You will find that the male Allen's Gallinule plumage and colours are different to that of the female Allen's Gallinule

  • Head is blue.
  • Eye is red.
  • Bill is pink.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is blue, grey.
  • Legs are blue.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Allen's Gallinule feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly




Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Allen's Gallinule is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Porphyrio alleni will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Allen's Gallinule is to create the nest on water. The bird lays eggs which are pink in colour and number between 2 to 8

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Allen's Gallinule are: wetlands

You will normally see the Allen's Gallinule 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 ...Kleinkoningriethaan

German ... Afrikanisches Sultanshuhn

Portuguese ... Caimo de Allen

French ... Talve d'Allen

Dutch ... Afrikaans Purperhoen

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 224

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 ,