MoorhenMoorhen preening.Moorhen's wing in view as preens.





Latin Name: Gallinula chloropus

Description: A small blackish looking bird (breast feathers actually a bluish green) with yellowy green legs and toes. The feet of this bird are quite long. The bill is bright red with a yellow tip.

Habitat: The moorhen lives on and near water with thickly vegetated banks.

Food: This bird eats acquatic plants, grass, insects and tadpoles.

Distribution: Seen in Britain all year round.

Nesting: The moorhen will make it’s nest near the water’s edge in dense vegetation on the banks of the water. The nest is usually made from reeds, grass and rushes.

Eggs: The breeding period is from April to July. The female lays between 4 and 10 eggs which take between 19-21 days to hatch. There can be up to 3 broods each year. The young will leave the nest after approximately 40-50 days.

Did You Know?

  • The male and female moorhen look very similar.
  • The moorhen makes a quirky sound.
  • When swimming the moorhen has a tendency to make jerky movements with it’s head.

I hope that you are lucky enough to see a moorhen – I have seen a moorhen down by the canal when I went for a walk recently and also on our farmland last year near one of the field ditches. Let me know where and when you have seen a moorhen.

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