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Common Moorhen

Afrikaans name: Grootwaterhoender

Common Moorhen wading through the water

Photo © Steven Herbert

Gallinula chloropus

The Common Moorhen is a familiar site on dams, ponds and other quiet and well-vegetated bodies of water.

The Moorhen has an almost world-wide distribution although there is some debates about the status of the species and sub-species found in different areas.

In some countries the Moorhen is called a Swamp Chicken.

The Common Moorhen can weigh up to 500 kg with a length of 30 cm or more.

They nest on the ground amongst vegetation and up to 8 eggs may be laid.

Juvenile Common Moorhen

Photo © Steven Herbert

Juvenile Common Moorhen's are very drably coloured (above) while adults (below) have a smart black and white plumage with a red and yellow bill.

Adult Common Moorhen

Photo © Steven Herbert

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References

List of South African Birds

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