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The Rallidæ or Rail Family

The rails are not well represented on the Nilgiris.

The water-hen (Gallinula chloropus) is common on the lake at Ootacamund. This is an olive-green bird about the size of a pigeon. Its bill and forehead are red; there is a patch of white under the tail. This species swims like a duck.

Another rail which may be seen sometimes in the Botanical Gardens at Ootacamund is the white-breasted water-hen (Amaurornis phoenicurus). This is a black bird with the face, throat, and breast white. There is a chestnut-hued patch under the tail.