Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Latin Etymology: Gallinula ("little chicken") chloropus ("green foot")
                                          Adult Common Moorhen (subspecies G. c. chloropus) in Kensington Gardens, London

Featured Subspecies: Gallinula chloropus chloropus
Weight: 250-400g  /  Length: 30-35cm  /  Wingspan: 50-55cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Moorhens are one of the most ever present waterbirds in the UK - a species regularly encountered on bodies of water ranging from small rivers to large bodies of water, though generally sticking to margins.  It is smaller than the coot, and is much more vibrant - with a red and yellow beak and plumage with warm brown tones and white markings in contrast to the stark black and white found on the other species.  Though they can be found in urban settings, they remain a little timid and tend to avoid getting as close as the other equally common waterbirds like mallard and canada goose.

Related Species:
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Gallinula
Subspecies: G. c. chloropus, G. c. meridionalis, G. c. pyrrhorrhoa, G. c. orientalis, G. c. guami

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Common Breeding Species (270,000 pairs) and Winter Migrant (approx. 330,000 birds) of lakes and rivers.
 - Birds seen commonly at many river and wetland locations including Rutland WaterRainham MarshesRegent's ParkKensington GardensPitsford ReservoirDitchford Gravel Pits and Eyebrook Reservoir. Resident on the river in Geddington.
SPAIN - Spanish - Gallinula
Scarce and Local Resident
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Several seen at Laguna Navaseca    

Further Notes: 
BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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