(African) Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus meridionalis)
aka The Swamp Chicken

The Common Moorhen is a medium-sized bird, 14" (36cm), dark slate-grey on the front and underneath and olive-brown on its back. A distinct line of white streaks along the sides and under the tail. Blackish head, with red frontal shield and bill with yellow tip. Its eyes are brownish-red. Yellowish-green legs and feet, with orange-red 'garters'.

The Common Moorhen is usually seen in pairs or family groups. It swims in open water or paddles around the edge of large freshwater bodies with floating or fringe vegetation.

The Common Moorhen eats a variety of vegetable matter & small aquatic creatures.

The Common Moorhen is seen in the west and central areas of Kenya, along the line of the Athy River, up to Mt. Elgon.

Extra Facts
The Common Moorhen female lays up to 8 eggs in a nest, which is then used by other females. If threatened, babies clutch hold of the parent's body, while the adult flies away.

Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:african common moorhen, bird, common moorhen, kenya, moorhen, wildlife

Common Moorhen ~ Wading

An African Common Moorhen, standing in water, eating weed. Its body is reflected in the water.

Common Moorhen ~ Pair

Common Moorhens eating weed, standing in water, reflection.

Common Moorhen ~ Big Feet

A Common Moorhen walking beside a large body of water, clearly showing its very long toes.

Common Moorhen ~ Eating Aquatic Insect

A Common Moorhen, standing in the margins of a large body of water, eating an aquatic insect.

Common Moorhen ~ Wading

A Common Moorhen, wading in a dam, foot raised, with its reflection in the water.

Common Moorhen ~ Juvenile

A juvenile Common Moorhen eating grass and showing its huge feet.