[4] The word moor here is an old sense meaning marsh;[4] the species is not usually found in moorland. The per cent difference in nuclear content between male and female moorhens was among the highest values reported for birds. They are about 43 mm by 31 mm. [6][10], On a global scale – all subspecies taken together – the common moorhen is as abundant as its vernacular name implies. [14][15][16], collecting for nest, Wolvercote, Oxfordshire, G. c. chloropus nest with small clutch of eggs at Wilgenhoek, Deerlijk (Belgium), Moorhen feeding chick some regurgitated food, Immature G. c. chloropus, 3–4 months old, in Parc de Bercy, Paris (France), "Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) Linnaeus, 1758", "Fifty-second supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-List of North American Birds", "Observations of migrants and other birds in Palau, April–May 2005, including the first Micronesian record of a Richard's Pipit", "The fossil avifauna of Itchtucknee (sic) River, Florida", Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, Série IIA, "Noteworthy Bird Records for Micronesia, with a Summary of Raptor Sightings in the Mariana Islands, 1988–1999", "New and Noteworthy Bird Records for Micronesia, 1986–2003", "Distribution and Abundance of the Mariana Subspecies of the Common Moorhen", 10.1675/1524-4695(2004)027[0245:DAAOTM]2.0.CO;2, (Common) Moorhen species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds, Madeira Birds – Moorhen breeding in Madeira Island, Ageing and sexing (PDF; 5.7 MB) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta & Gerd-Michael Heinze, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Common_moorhen&oldid=969631885, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The pair builds several nests in their territory. By closing this message, you are consenting to our use of cookies. The name mor-hen has been recorded in English since the 13th century. Sexing individuals in a population is important in many ecological and life‐history studies. They forage beside or in the water, sometimes walking on lilypads or upending in the water to feed. In China, common moorhen populations are largely resident south of the Yangtze River, whilst northern populations migrate in the winter, therefore these populations show high genetic diversity. Since morphometric comparisons with English moorhen populations showed that discriminant bio‐metrical values are geographically different, and thus not useful as universal sexing tools, we recommend the use of the cytometry technique for sex determination. The male moorhen courts the female by bringing her water weeds and fanning out his tail. Generally, the female builds the nest among vegetation in the water while the male gathers the twigs, etc. The common moorhen gives a wide range of gargling calls and will emit loud hisses when threatened. The young are browner and lack the red shield. It is distributed across many parts of the Old World. The frontal shield of the adult has a rounded top and fairly parallel sides; the tailward margin of the red unfeathered area is a smooth waving line. The birds are territorial during breeding season. Small, with slate grey upperwing coverts and large frontal shield. [6] A midsized to large rail, it can range from 30 to 38 cm (12 to 15 in) in length and span 50 to 62 cm (20 to 24 in) across the wings. [7][8], This is a common breeding bird in marsh environments, well-vegetated lakes and even in city parks. The population of Palau, belonging to the widespread subspecies G. c. orientalis and locally known as debar (a generic term also used for ducks and meaning roughly "waterfowl"), is very rare, and apparently the birds are hunted by locals. About 8 eggs are usually laid per female early in the season; a brood later in the year usually has only 5–8 or fewer eggs. The nest is a basket built on the ground in dense vegetation. The scientific name Gallinula chloropus comes from the Latin Gallinula (a small hen or chicken) and the Greek chloropus (khloros χλωρός green or yellow, pous πούς foot).[5]. The closely related common gallinule of the New World has been recognized as a separate species by most authorities,[2] starting with the American Ornithologists' Union and the International Ornithological Committee in 2011.[3]. A "watercock" is not a male "waterhen" but the rail species Gallicrex cinerea, not closely related to the common moorhen. Find out more Usually, the location of a sighting is the most reliable indication as to subspecies identification, but the migratory tendencies of this species make identifications based on location not completely reliable. You can see moorhens by almost any piece of water. Nests may be re-used by different females. The name “moorhen” refers to both male and female birds, just like the name “ladybug” describes both males and females of that species. A blackish bird with bright red and yellow beak and long, green legs. Incubation lasts about three weeks. "Water rail" usually refers to Rallus aquaticus, again not closely related. This picture shows a moment from an hour long dispute between birds over the nesting rights on the island of our main pond. Their eggs are smooth and glossy, greyish-white to green with reddish-brown or grey markings. Despite loss of habitat in parts of its range, the common moorhen remains plentiful and widespread.

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