Masked finfoot

They are certified swimmers ruling mangroves and nearby bushes, but unfortunately, not many of them are left

Paul Cools

With its elusive nature and captivating features, it remains a bird shrouded in mystery, often leaving birdwatchers fortunate to catch even a fleeting glimpse of its presence. Despite its scarcity in sightings, the Masked finfoot possesses unique morphological characteristics that distinguish it as a species worth cherishing and protecting.

This gregarious bird is typically found in lush, well-vegetated waterways, including mangroves, shaded rivers, and swamps, where it demonstrates remarkable swimming abilities. Equipped with half-webbed feet or lobed feet, the Masked finfoot is also a proficient climber, allowing it to navigate through dense foliage and swiftly take cover in bushes at the slightest hint of danger.

In its watery habitats, the Masked finfoot feeds on a diverse array of aquatic invertebrates, snails, and small fish, utilizing its sharp beak and agile movements to capture prey. Despite its aquatic prowess, the Masked finfoot is equally at home on land, where it may forage for food along the water’s edge or seek refuge among the vegetation.

During the breeding season, which coincides with the onset of favorable environmental conditions, the Masked finfoot constructs its nest with sticks and vegetation, forming a thick pad that floats atop the water’s surface. Here, the female lays her eggs and incubates them, while both parents share the responsibilities of caring for the young once hatched.

Despite its remarkable adaptations and behaviors, the Masked finfoot faces significant threats from habitat destruction and human activities, pushing this enigmatic bird to the brink of extinction. Efforts to conserve and protect its dwindling habitats are crucial for the survival of the species and the preservation of its unique ecological role.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Bangladesh
80-160
Official estimate
CR
2020
Sundarbans
Cambodia
12-64
Official estimate
CR
2020
India
4
Official estimate
CR
2020
Possibly Extant
Indonesia
2020
Possibly Extant
Laos
4-30
Official estimate
CR
2020
Malaysia
2020
Possibly Extant
Myanmar
12-40
Official estimate
CR
2020
Singapore
2020
Possibly Extant
Thailand
2020
Possibly Extant
Vietnam
6
Official estimate
CR
2020

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No