Moorhen

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Moorhens
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Common Moorhen


Common Moorhen
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Rallidae
Genus:Gallinula
Species

San Cristobal Moorhen, Gallinula silvestris
Tristan Moorhen, Gallinula nesiotis
Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula tenebrosa
Lesser Moorhen, Gallinula angulata
Spot-flanked Gallinule, Gallinula melanops
Black-tailed Native-hen, Gallinula ventralis
Tasmanian Native-hen, Gallinula mortierii

The moorhens are medium-sized water birds which are members of the rail family Rallidae. They constitute the genus Gallinula.

These rails are all brown and black with some white markings in plumage, and, unlike many of the rails, they are usually easy to see, feeding in open water margins rather than skulking in reedbeds.

They tend to have short, rounded wings and be weak fliers, although nevertheless capable of covering long distances; the Common Moorhen in particular migrates up to 2,000 km from some of its breeding areas in the colder parts of Siberia. Those that migrate do so at night.

Moorhens can walk very well on strong legs, and have long toes that are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces.

These birds are omnivorous, taking plant material, small animals and eggs. They are aggressively territorial during the breeding season, but are otherwise often found in sizeable flocks on the shallow vegetated lakes they prefer.

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