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Gallinula pacifica Hartlaub & Finsch, 1871

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The Samoan wood rail (Gallinula pacifica), also known as Samoan moorhen, is a nearly flightless rail endemic to the Samoan island of Savai'i, and probably extinct. As it has evolved adaptations for a more terrestrial lifestyle and at least partly nocturnal habits, it is probably better placed in a distinct genus, Pareudiastes (which sometimes includes the more distinct Makira Wood Rail too), but this issue has not yet been thoroughly researched. It was known as puna'e ("one that jumps up") to the native Samoans, this was said to relate to the bird's habit of making a jumping dash into cover when startled from its resting place. Source: Wikipedia


Gallinula pacifica

Hartlaub & Finsch, 1871

Proc.Zool.Soc.London p.25 pl. 2

Pareudiastes pacificus

Avibase ID:

Taxonomic Serial Number:
TSN: 560146

Geographic range:

  • Gallinula pacifica: Formerly Sava'i I. (w Samoa). Extinct, last reported 1873


On permanent water areas there are moorhen, mallard, etc.

In the water basins nest moorhens, green-headed duck, etc.


en genus of birds

On permanent water areas there are moorhen, mallard, etc.

In the water basins nest moorhens, green-headed duck, etc.

General characteristics

The size and weight varies from 12-13 cm and 40 g in the white-winged rat (Porzana exquisitus

) up to 59-63 cm and 2-3.2 kg in the giant coot (
Fulica gigantea
) and takahe (
Porphyrio mantelli

Almost all birds of this family live near water bodies and in wetlands, among the exceptions is the corncrake, which nests in the area of ​​agricultural land.

Typical representatives of this family settle among the dense vegetation of the lower layer in the area of ​​lakes, rivers or swamps. Few comparatively primitive species inhabit tropical rainforests. In particular, thickets of reeds, sedges or reeds can be distinguished from favorite habitats. In general, birds of this family lead a rather secretive, often nocturnal or crepuscular lifestyle, avoid open spaces and are difficult to see.

Most species run quickly and confidently on soft, muddy soil thanks to their strong legs with long toes that reduce the stress on the ground. Coots have scalloped swimming blades on their feet on the sides of the toes, which indicates its predominantly aquatic lifestyle. Shepherd's wings, as a rule, are short and rounded; birds rarely fly, but if necessary, they are able to overcome a considerable distance. The species that live on the islands often stop flying altogether, and for this reason, many of them are now extinct, as they were unable to defend against ground enemies such as cats, rats and pigs.

As a rule, the body of shepherds is slightly flattened from the sides - this, as well as the more flexible spine in comparison with other birds, allows them to maneuver better in thickets of reeds or other dense coastal vegetation. The tails of all bird species are short and soft, usually raised upward, almost all of them have a white undertail. A white, orange or red shield can often be seen on the forehead, which protects the bird's head from injury. The plumage is soft and loose, molting occurs twice a year - during the full postnuptial period, the ability to fly is temporarily lost. Sexual dimorphism (visible differences between the sexes) is not expressed in most (with the exception of four) species, except that males are slightly larger than females. A characteristic feature of the family is the uniform twitching of the tail and shaking of the head when walking and while swimming.

Nighttime activity and limited visibility in thickets led to the fact that these birds have a well-developed vocal communication with each other. These are quite noisy birds, their varied and not always euphonious singing is well heard outside of their habitats. Shepherds are omnivorous birds that feed on both plant and animal food, sometimes hunt for other birds and their eggs, reptiles, amphibians, fish and small rodents. In general, animal food is typical for small species, and vegetable food for large species, although there are exceptions.

Shepherd chicks - brood or semi-brood type, having hatched, they do not linger in the nest for a long time.After a day or two, and in large species after 3-4 days, the female begins to take the chicks for a walk, each time returning back. At first, only the mother takes care of the chicks, and the father is engaged in the production of food. Subsequently, both parents participate in the brood of chicks.

Flycatcher family - Muscicapidae (Vigors, 1825)

FamilyFlycatchers Muscicapidae (Vigors, 1825) detachmentSparrow Passeriformes. A vast group of passerine birds, extremely similar in the way of obtaining food: waiting for flying insects and grabbing them in flight. The sizes are small, not larger or slightly larger than a sparrow. The physique is quite solid. The beak is flattened and very wide at the base; here its width exceeds the height and is often equal to the length. The gently sloping beak forms a slightly rounded rib. The sides of the beak are formed by smooth or even convex surfaces. The tip of the beak is sharply curved with a hook, in front of it there is a small notch, a small hook, bent upward, sometimes on the lower jaw. The nostrils are located directly in front of the forehead, closer to the edges of the beak, have small caps only at their base and are covered to varying degrees with feathers directed forward and possessing hair-like extensions of the shafts. The bristles at the base of the beak are always very well developed, sometimes they only slightly do not reach the end of the beak. The wings are rather long, with a pointed apex, adapted for quick takeoff and short chases. Primary flywheels 10. The 1st flywheel is always more or less shortened. The wing apex is formed by the 3rd flywheel and subsequent ones. The legs are rather weak. The thin metatarsus is covered in front by several shields, behind by two longitudinal plates. The toes are thin and weak, with small claws. The tail is of the most varied length and shape, with rare exceptions it has 12 tail feathers. The plumage is smoothed. In some groups, large crests develop on the head, and the central tail feathers lengthen in the form of plaits, exceeding the length of the bird's body by 2-3 times. The color is very diverse. Chicks are characterized by a spotted or scaly pattern, with the exception of usually those species in which the adults are very variegated. Many have pronounced sexual dimorphism. Molt is mostly once a year, in autumn, but it happens twice, especially in brightly colored forms. Young in the first autumn change only a small feather. Some species acquire their final outfit only in the second or even third year. There is little variety in the life of various flycatchers. Some of them keep open: on the edges and clearings, some, on the contrary, hide in dense forest areas, in the crowns of trees. There are species that readily nest near human habitation: in parks, gardens, estates, and even on houses. Flycatcher food is obtained in a characteristic way. They wait for prey sitting on a prominent branch or other protruding object, or from an ambush. Noticing an insect, the flycatcher flies off, chases after it and seizes it on the fly, and then returns to its original place. Flycatchers also catch seated insects, especially during the rearing period. To do this, they even descend to the ground, jumping awkwardly on weak legs. In the fall, plant foods such as berries are sometimes added to insects. Almost all non-tropical species are migratory birds, arriving relatively late and leaving early. Outdoor nests are built, sometimes very skillfully, but many nest in hollows, crevices and other shelters. There are 4-9 eggs, small species have more than large ones. Their color is one-color or spotted. Insect control is of significant benefit in agriculture and forestry. They live only in the eastern hemisphere, with the exception of polar and circumpolar countries, rising in the mountains up to 4000 m.

List of genera of the Flycatcher family Muscicapidae (Vigors, 1825) According to IOC World Bird Names checklist, version 7.3 (July 2017) by Frank Gill & David Donsker.

Rod of the Forklong - Enicurus (Temminck, 1822) • Rod of Zaryanka - Erithacus (Cuvier, 1800) • Kamenka's family - Oenanthe (Vieillot, 1816) • Rod Stonebirds - Monticola (Boie, 1822) • Flycatcher genus - Muscicapa (Brisson, 1760) • Genus Common Redstart - Phoenicurus (T. Forster, 1817) • Genus Spotted Flycatcher - Ficedula (Brisson, 1760) • Genus Red-tailed Warbler - Cercotrichas (Boie, F, 1831) • Genus Bluetail - Tarsiger (Hodgson, 1845) • Rod bluebirds - Myophonus (Temminck, 1822) • Genus blue flycatcher - Cyanoptila (Blyth, 1847) • Genus Blue Nightingales - Larvivora (Hodgson, 1837) • Rod Nightingales - Luscinia (Forster, T, 1817) • Genus Nightingales-white-collar - Irania (De Filippi, 1863) • Genus Red-necked Nightingales - Calliope (Gould, 1836) • Genus Chekana - Saxicola (Bechstein, 1803)

List of species of the family Flycatcher Muscicapidae (Vigors, 1825) According to IOC World Bird Names checklist, version 7.3 (July 2017) by Frank Gill & David Donsker.

Asian black-headed coin - Saxicola maurus (Pallas, 1773) • White-chinned thrush - Monticola gularis (Swinhoe, 1863) • White-leg - Enicurus scouleri (Vigors, 1832) • Large coin - Saxicola insignis (Gray, JE & Gray, GR, 1847) • Bluethroat - Luscinia svecica (Linnaeus, 1758) • Water redstart - Phoenicurus leucocephalus (Vigors, 1831) • Eastern Lesser Flycatcher - Ficedula albicilla (Pallas, 1811) • Eastern black-eared wheatear - Oenanthe melanoleuca (Güldenstädt, 1775) • Eastern black-headed coinage - Saxicola stejnegeri (Parrot, 1908) • Redstart-coot - Phoenicurus phoenicurus (Linnaeus, 1758) • Black Redstart - Phoenicurus ochruros (Gmelin, SG, 1774) • Yellow-backed (Daurian) flycatcher - Ficedula zanthopygia (Hay, 1845) • Western black-eared stove - Oenanthe hispanica (Linnaeus, 1758) • Western black-headed coinage - Saxicola rubicola (Linnaeus, 1766) • Zaryanka - Erithacus rubecula (Linnaeus, 1758) • Gold-tailed Kamenka - Oenanthe chrysopygia (De Filippi, 1863) • Kamenka - Oenanthe oenanthe (Linnaeus, 1758) • Kamenka-pleshanka - Oenanthe pleschanka (Lepechin, 1770) • Kamenka dancer - Oenanthe isabellina (Temminck, 1829) • Red-bellied redstart - Phoenicurus erythrogastrus (Güldenstädt, 1775) • Red-backed redstart - Phoenicurus erythronotus (Eversmann, 1841) • Kurdistani wheatear - Oenanthe xanthoprymna (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833) • Meadow coinage - Saxicola rubetra (Linnaeus, 1758) • Small flycatcher - Ficedula parva (Bechstein, 1792) • White collar flycatcher - Ficedula albicollis (Temminck, 1815) • Pied flycatcher - Ficedula hypoleuca (Pallas, 1764) • Variegated flycatcher - Muscicapa griseisticta (Swinhoe, 1861) • Spotted stone thrush - Monticola saxatilis (Linnaeus, 1766) • Semi-Collar Flycatcher - Ficedula semitorquata (Homeyer, 1885) • Desert Kamenka - Oenanthe deserti (Temminck, 1825) • Red-tailed flycatcher - Ficedula ruficauda (Swainson, 1838) • Gray-headed redstart - Phoenicurus coeruleocephala (Vigors, 1831) • Gray flycatcher - Muscicapa striata (Pallas, 1764) • Gray redstart - Phoenicurus fuliginosus (Vigors, 1831) • Siberian redstart - Phoenicurus auroreus (Pallas, 1776) • Siberian flycatcher - Muscicapa sibirica (J.F. Gmelin, 1789) • Bluetail - Tarsiger cyanurus (Pallas, 1773) • Blue stone thrush - Monticola solitarius (Linnaeus, 1758) • Blue nightingale - Larvivora cyane (Pallas, 1776) • Blue flycatcher - Cyanoptila cyanomelana (Temminck, 1829) • Blue bird - Myophonus caeruleus (Scopoli, 1786) • Nightingale - Luscinia luscinia (Linnaeus, 1758) • White-collar nightingale - Irania gutturalis (Guérin-Méneville, 1843) • Red-necked nightingale - Calliope calliope (Pallas, 1776) • Whistler nightingale - Larvivora sibilans (Swinhoe, 1863) • Taiga flycatcher - Ficedula mugimaki (Temminck, 1836) • Tugai nightingale - Cercotrichas galactotes (Temminck, 1820) • Black heater - Oenanthe picata (Blyth, 1847) • Black-breasted rudneck - Calliope pectoralis (Gould, 1837) • Black-necked heater - Oenanthe finschii (von Heuglin, 1869) • Black coin - Saxicola caprata (Linnaeus, 1766) • Broad-billed flycatcher - Muscicapa dauurica (Pallas, 1811) • Southern nightingale - Luscinia megarhynchos (Brehm, CL, 1831) • Japanese robin - Larvivora akahige (Temminck, 1835) • Japanese flycatcher - Ficedula narcissina (Temminck, 1836)

Literature • “The fauna of birds of the countries of Northern Eurasia within the borders of the former USSR: Lists of species. (01.2016) "E.A. Koblik, V.Yu. Arkhipov. • IOC World Bird Names checklist, version 7.3 (July 2017) by Frank Gill & David Donsker. • "Birds of the USSR" L.A. Portenko Ed. Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Moscow. Leningrad. 1960, part 4, p. 105.


Shepherds are widespread throughout the world, absent only in the arctic and subarctic regions, Antarctica and large deserts. The most biodiversity is observed in the tropics and subtropics, in the taiga zone of the northern hemisphere and on the subarctic islands, only a few species are seen. A distinctive feature of shepherds is their ability to penetrate even the most remote islands, despite the fact that they fly rarely and badly.

In Russia, shepherds are represented by 14 species from 9 genera, 11 of which nest. There are reports of single visits from the territory of North America of the Carolina chase (Porzana carolina

). Cases of nesting of horned moorhen (
Gallicrex cinerea
) and white-breasted pogonysh are considered unproven so far. The Red Book of Russia includes species of horned moorhen, sultanka (
Porphyrio porphyrio
) and red-footed chase (
Porzana fusca


In the shepherd family (Rallidae) there are 34 modern genera and 6 more extinct over the past 4 centuries: