Home PageBirds of Devon and Cornwall Moorhens  

Latin name - Gallinula chloropus

The Moorhen can be seen anywhere where there is water; from ditches to large reservoirs, farm ponds to park lakes. Male and females are similar with a black body which on closer inspection is more olive-brown on top and blue-grey underneath. They have a white line along their body, yellow-green legs, feet and, most obviously, a red bill with a yellow tip with a red forehead. The young have browner under-parts and do not have the red forehead. Moorhens feed on the water margins (unlike Coots which dive for food on open water), on plants, seeds, insects, snails and small fish.

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Moorhen