Duck Like

Common Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus
Common Moorhen thumbnail
Length: 13 in. (33 cm )
One of the most widespread species in the world, the Common Moorhen occurs not only in North America but also South America, Eurasia and Africa. It swims duck-like but constantly bobbing its head while moving. This relative of the rails occupies freshwater marshes and ponds with cattails and other aquatic vegetation. The nest is located on a shallow platform of dead cattails, rushes, and other marsh plants, usually a few inches above water level. Young of the first brood help raise young of the following broods. They eat small insects, tadpoles, fruits, and seeds, and their long toes enable them to both swim in water or walk on floating marsh vegetation. Males often build several nests on the pair\'s territory, and in the non-breeding season, they use these extra nests as places to spend the night.

The four-digit banding code is COMO.

Male | Herbert Clarke

Marsh / swamp

Open water
Bird Sound Type: Buzzing
Sex of Bird: Male
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Bird Sound Type: Buzzing
Sex of Bird: Male
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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Common Moorhen
  • Author(s): Dr. Biology
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: July 13, 2017
  • Date accessed: June 12, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Dr. Biology. (2017, July 13). Common Moorhen. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved June 12, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Dr. Biology. "Common Moorhen". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 July, 2017.

MLA 2017 Style

Dr. Biology. "Common Moorhen". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 13 Jul 2017. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 12 Jun 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
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