British Wildlife Wiki

The Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) has a diet mainly consisting of water plants, insects and other various


Moorhen -

invertebrates. It has very long toes which help spread its weight when it walks on mud or water plants. Because the toes are not webbed, swimming is difficult and it is characterised by its head moving from side to side when it swims. It will happily submerge itself under the water. Its nest is made on a platform of dried plants built along dried vegetation. It is lined with leaves. The female will lay five to eleven pale buff eggs spotted with brown. They are made in April or May and more than one female may share the nest. During the breeding season it is a shy bird and will act territorial and aggressive towards intruders.


Size: 32-35cm

Description: Black and dark brown plumage, bill has a yellow tip and red base. It has a distinctive white undertail and green legs.

Habitat: Fresh water

Voice: loud clucking sounds and rining type calls, fishermen sometimes mistake them for their bite alarms.

Flight: Flies low over water with it's legs dangling

Similar species: Coot




British Wildlife Clips - Moorhen

British Wildlife Clips - Moorhen