Common Moorhen

Kingdom: Animalia      Phylum: Chordata     Class: Aves (Birds)     Order: Gruiformes     Family: Rallidae

Common Moorhen
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) - photograph © Rajiv Lather

Common Moorhen  (Gallinula chloropus) is a common resident and winter visitor in India.   Size: 34 cm.

Description: Length: 30-37 cm. Adults: An almost evenly slate-coloured bird; darker on the head, becoming brownish olive on back and slightly lighter below; conspicuous white flank streaks and white edging under tail; bill and frontal plate bright red, the bill with a greenish yellow tip; legs with red "garters" just below the feathering; toes long and without scallop-shaped lobes.

Nest: A bulky mound composed of reeds and rushes, placed in thick vegetation in or at the edge of shallow water. Eggs: 6-17, buff irregularly marked with fine, dark brown speckling.

Range: Found in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, the West Indies and other parts of the world.

Habits: These large members of the rail family are far less elusive than their smaller relatives. They spend more time in the open, about the water edges of the marshes in which they live. It is not unusual for them to swim on shallow, open ponds in the manner of coots, which they closely resemble.

Gallinula chloropus
Common Moorhen (juvenile)


Apodiformes Bucerotiformes Ciconiiformes Columbiformes




Gruiformes Passeriformes Piciformes Psittaciformes Strigiformes Trogoniformes Turniciformes Upupiformes