AvianDiversity » A Connoisseur's Eye » Birds » Rails, Crakes and Coots » Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus - (Linnaeus) 1758)

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus - (Linnaeus) 1758)


Common Moorhen has slate-black plumage. Upperparts are brownish. We can see white stripe on flanks and white lateral undertail coverts. The pointed bill is red with yellow tip and red frontal plate above. Both sexes are similar, with male slightly larger than female. Common Moorhen utters a variety of sharp calls. We can frequently hear a low, rolling “krrruck”, a sudden short “chuck”, and a sharp “kik” or “kittick”. It gives a repeated fast clucking “krek-krek-krek-krek” often in flight, and mainly at night during spring.
When they fight, the birds utter short clocking chatter. Common Moorhen lives in freshwater or brackish wetlands with fringing vegetation and brushy cover. It is found near ponds, slow rivers, marshes and lakes, and also in parks in urban areas.