Length: 32-38 cm Common
It is widely distributed, nomadic and highly adapted. It responds to rain in arid areas by breeding rapidly. The Black-tailed Native-hen has a cocked and flattened tail like a bantam. It feeds on the edge of water on vegetable matter, augmented with snails, insects and seeds.
It follows the uncertain rains of inland Australia, appearing on swamps in hundreds in a day and departing as they dry out. It flies well with rapid shallow wing beats. Breeds at any time of the year. Nest a cup of leaves on the ground near water. Eggs: 5 to 7; glossy pale green with red or brown blotches.