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UK Nature  > Birds  > Gallinula chloropus

Scientific Name:   Gallinula chloropus
Common Name:   Moorhen

Gallinula chloropus, more commonly known as the Moorhen, measures approximately 33cm in length. Easily recognised by sooty-black body colour, red base to bill, greenish-yellow legs, white line along the side and white undertail coverts with black central line. The white side line and undertail pattern also distinguish the immature from young Coot. The tail is held high and is jerked both when swimming and walking.

They have a varied diet, including leaves, seeds, berries, worms, snails and fish. Their nest is a mound of waterside vegetation, reeds, sticks etc, collected from the vicinity and usually contsructed in the middle of waterside reeds etc.

Found commonly by a variety of waterside habitats throughout the UK including marshes, ponds, lakes with shore vegetation. Often seen in parks, where it will walk about on the grass.
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