Masked Finfoot

The Heliopais personatus (scientific name) or masked finfoot is an aquatic bird, which is endemic to the wetlands of the Eastern Indian sub-continent, Malaysia, Indonesia and Indo-China. About 21 inches in length, this bird has a long neck, black masked face and throat. The crown and hind neck are grey. The under parts are whitish and the flanks, wings and tail are brown. The beak is thick, pointed and yellow in colour. It has lobed bright green feet. Its diet is comprised of insects. But they are also seen eating freshwater shrimp, beetles, small fish, etc. An extremely shy species, its clutch has 3-7 eggs laid in a pan-shaped nest. The incubation period is unknown. Its IUCN listing is ENDANGERED.

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