Water shepherd photo and description of the bird | Chicken water shepherd

A small bird is slightly larger than a starling, preferring to hide in the thicket and lead a night lifestyle is a water shepherd from the Pastushkov family.  It is not for nothing that the bird prefers not to appear after all, at the moment it is more realistic to see in the red book than in nature.


The shepherdess’s body structure resembles a quail or partridge not a large, neat bird about 26 cm long and a little less than 200 grams. Its body disproportionate and flattened from the sides resembles Korostel however, unlike it, the shepherd has a long and curved beak.

This bird has a special, brightly distinguishable from any other waterfowl, with a cry a rather characteristic likeness of the screech of the piglet. Voice activity, like the life cycle, is mainly associated with the night time of the day.


The plumage of the shepherd is not bright, but attracts attention with its variegation. The main role in the appearance of the bird is played by the beak: thin, long, almost the same in size as the head it is usually brightly painted with red or orange tone. All the rest of the plumage is grayish-steel, and narrow light gray stripes stand out on the sides.  On the back and wings you can notice olive-brown feathers with wide dark stripes. The tail of the bird is short, softened and when moving does not stop swaying. Red-brown legs, too thin in relation to the body complement the franchial appearance of the shepherd.

Interestingly, the main thing, and almost the only difference between females and males of this species are males slightly larger than their partners.

The average life expectancy of these birds is impressive for such sizes they live on average until nine years old.  Moreover, the fertility of this species allows you to create several clutches per season.


The shepherd lives on almost all continents in Europe, and in Asia, and in America, and in Africa in a wide variety of regions, but in very small quantities. Until now, scientists are arguing about the presence of this species of birds in India data on its distribution there are contradictory.

Regarding the habitats, the shepherd prefers to settle along the banks of the reservoirs, choosing the most standing, flooded and even swamps: thanks to this they get access to reeds, reed and other vegetation. It is the presence of nearwater greens as the main material for nesting and just shallow water for the extraction of power can be called the main criteria for choosing a bird environment.

Moreover, the most interesting thing is that even if the territory perfectly meets all the requests, this does not mean at all that it is here that the population will be resettled and scientists do not find explanations for this.


The shepherd feeds mostly with small insects, larvae, mollusks and other invertebrates. He does not neglect water vegetation, as well as small amphibians and fish. He usually searches prey in a pond: on the surface, at the bottom, on the coastline.

Since the shepherd in the daytime in dense grass and rarely appears in open spaces, it practically does not fly it runs more, quite quite and quickly.

Moreover, the bird rises into the air only in case of extreme danger and even then no higher than a meter (of course, without taking into account the moment of migration). In especially acute cases, he knows how to swim and even dive.

In their bulk, water shepherds live alone, maximum in pairs. This is due to their aggressive character, however, sometimes there are cases when birds form impressive groups of up to thirty individuals: but such groups are very quickly disintegrated.

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