"Common Moorhen"
(Gallinula chloropus)


"adult"

"juvenile"

"baby"






Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Moorhen "Juveniles"
Photograph by

Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Moorhen and "Juvenile"
Photograph by

Snow W. Frost
Moorhen "Juvenile"
Photograph by

Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Moorhen "Junenile"
Photograph by

Snow W. Frost
Moorhen "Juvenile"
Photograph by

Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
"baby" moorhen Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost








Moorhens are duck-like; black head; yellow-tipped red bill; also has red forehead and white line of feathers along flanks. Often seem swimming.

Common Moorhens are also known as Mud Hens, or Pond Chickens. It is nearly an all-black "duck-like", "chicken-like" bird that is often seen in freshwater marshes and lakes with heavy strands of cattails, sedges, and other aquatic vegetation. It walks on floating vegetation or swims while hunting for insects. It swims with a pumping back-and-forth motion of its head and neck. When walking, it often flicks its tail up and down, flashing the white undertail coverts with their dark center. Usually found in medium to large groups in which individuals can be aggressive toward other members in disputes over food, mates, or nesting areas.

Females are known to lay eggs in other moorhen nests in addition to their own. Sometimes it takes an old nest in a low shrub. It is a cooperative breeder, having young of first brood help raise young of second. The young leave the nest usually within a few hours after hatching, but stary with the family for a ocuple months. Young ride on backs of adults.





Size: 14"

Male: Nearly black overall with yellow-tipped red bill. Red forehead. Thin line of white along sides. Yellowish-green legs.

Female: Same as male.

Juvinile: Same as adult, but brown with white throat, legs dirty yellow.

Nest: Ground; female and male build; 1-2 broods per year. Platform nest of cattail stems lined with grasses, placed on ground or suspended in vegatation 4-6 inches high.

Eggs: 2-10; brown with dark markings.

Incubation: 10-22 days; female and male incubate.

Fledging: 40-50 days; female and male feed young.

Migration: Complete, to Central and South America, winters in Florida.

Food: Insects, snails, seeds, grasshoppers, mosquitos, spiders, tadpoles, fruits, and insect larvae. It feeds by walking over aquatic vegetation or by swimming, and diving.

Song: No musical sounds are produced. Vocalizations range from explosive froglike "hups" to loud, chickenlike grunts, clucks, adn squeaks along with drawn-out whines and rapid "thicket-thicket" calls.

Display: Courtship display may include head held low, wings raised, and white undertail exposed.

Habitat: Freshwater marshes, ponds, and lakes.





My personal notes...

This bird is quite interesting...like a chicken-duck swimming in the water. The colors are beautiful witht the red on the beak area against the all black body. The jouvenile was mostly brown. Interesting, when I was feeding this bird some bread....it would take the piece to the female, then the female would take the piece to the baby...nice. They don't sit still for very long...moving all the time either walking, swimming, or bobbing their head back and forth...difficult to photograph.





More "Common Moorhen" information:
"Common Moorhen Nests, Eggs & Babies"






"Bird Wonderland"

"Wonderland"


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Reproduction without permission is strictly forbidden.