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Common Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus
Meet the Common Moorhen, a very distinctive looking bird that has black plumage, a bright red and yellow beak, and gigantic feet. Those feet are used to walk across floating vegetation and mud. They aren't webbed, like the feet of many other waterbirds, but the Common Moorhens can swim pretty well nonetheless.

These birds are the most widely distributed members of the entire Rail Family, and can be found on every continent save Antarctica! There are currently twelve different subspecies, which all differ slightly by size and plumage.

One very distinct thing about the Common Moorhens is their breeding behavior. While most of their relatives have the males fight over the females, it is the female Moohens that fight over the males! After mating, both parents will incubate and care for the young, and newly hatched offspring are precocial, feeding themselves after only a few days.

The species as a whole is not at threat for extinction, but some local populations are in trouble. The Hawaiian and Mariana subspecies are considered Endangered, due to habitat loss.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Worldwide
Size : Body Length up to 15in (38cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves --Order : Gruiformes
Family : Rallidae -- Genus : Gallinula -- Species : G. chloropus


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