Common moorhen, ground-dwelling water bird, the striking common moorhen is among the world’s most widespread bird species, being found in many wetlands across the globe. It is easily recognised by its vivid red shield and short, yellow bill, which sits in stark contrast to dark-coloured plumage. From a distance the plump body appears bold black, but upon closer inspection it is a more attractive olive-brown on the back, head and on its short wings, and grey on the underparts.  The short legs and the long, fully-webbed toes are bright yellow-green to yellow, and a white trim around the underside of the short tail is visible when the bird flicks its tail upwards. The male and female adult birds are similar in appearance, although the female is typically slightly larger, but the juvenile bird has a brown to grey crown, neck and back, while the underparts are paler than those of the adult bird, with a whitish throat and belly. The common moorhen is an extremely vocal bird capable of producing a number of bizarre, distinctive sounds, including a variety of clucks and chattering calls.

The common moorhen is an extremely versatile species capable of occupying a diversity of freshwater habitats, including slow-flowing rivers, lakes, streams, canals, ditches, swamps, marshes and flood-plains. It requires access to open water, and generally prefers waters sheltered by woodland, bushes or emergent vegetation. While foraging, it may wander away from water onto dry grassland, agricultural land or meadows.

The common moorhen has one of the largest ranges of any bird species, occurring on every continent except for Australasia and Antarctica, although it is just an occasional visitor to Svalbard in the Arctic. It is found as far afield as remote islands in the Pacific, such as the Hawaiian and Galapagos Islands. We can see common moorhen in east europe, scandinavia and Turkey.

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