Click on the language to view common names.
Common Names in Afrikaans:
Common Names in Dutch:
Common Names in English:
Common Moorhen, Eurasian Moorhen, alae ula, American gallinule, blue peter, blue rail, chicken-foot coot, Common Gallinule, Florida gallinule, Hawaiian Common Gallinule, Mariana Common Gallinule, Moorhen, Moorken, red-billed mud-hen, sedge peter, water chicken, water hen
Common Names in French:
Poule d'eau commune, gallinule poule-d'eau, Poule d'eau
Common Names in German:
Common Names in Hebrew:
Common Names in Italian:
Common Names in Japanese:
Common Names in Russian:
Common Names in Spanish:
Gallineta Común, Gallineta frente roja, Polla de agua
Common Names in Swedish:
Adult : Head : black Face : Frontal Shield: red Bill: red with yellow tip Neck: black Body: Back: brownish olive Color: dark slate Mantle: tinged with brownish Rump : tail Sides: brownish olive with horizontal white stripe Legs : Foot Color: yellow Leg Color: yellow-green Tibia: tips vermilion Tail: black Crissum: black in center, white at sides.Immature: Head: sooty-gray Face: Frontal Shield: small or absent Bill: dusky or yellow Neck: sooty-gray Throat : white Body: Upperparts: browner than adult.Young: Face: Forehead: reddish Bill: reddish.
: Red frontal shield above bill · Red bill with a yellow
· Slate gray head
, neck, breast and belly · Brownish
back and upperwings · White stripe
along upper flanks ·
Tarsus and feet greenish yellow, tibia red
Juvenile : Small, dull red frontal shield · Dark bill with dull yellow tip · Pale gray-brown head and underparts · Whitish throat and belly · Dark gray-brown upperparts · White stripe along flanks
About 14 inches long, with a wingspan of 20 to 23 inches. Adults weigh about 12 ounces .
Brackish ponds . Occasionally in freshwater ponds.
Vegetation: freshwater marshes • Maximum Elevation: 4,000 meters • Foraging Strata: Water • Center of Abundance: Lower subtropical: lowlands, lower than 500 m.; subtropics. • Sensitivity to Disturbance: Low
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 4,622 meters (0 to 15,164 feet).
Behaviour This species is predominantly sedentary
dispersive, but makes partially or fully migratory movements in the
northern parts of its range
due to its vulnerability
conditions2. Most northern populations move south
from September to December, returning again from March to May1.
The species breeds in solitary territorial
pairs during the spring
especially during wet months (the exact timing varying geographically)1.
It remains largely solitary throughout the year although juveniles
may form diurnal
feeding groups of up to 30 individuals
in the winter, especially during hard weather2,
often congregating on sheltered lakes
The species inhabits freshwater
wetlands, both still
and moving, requiring easy access
to open water1
and showing a preference for waters sheltered by woodland, bushes
or tall emergent vegetation1, 2. Suitable habitats
include slow-flowing rivers1, 2, oxbow
, canals, ditches, lakes, reservoirs
, sites with small open
water surfaces such as pools
only a few metres
, marshes1, 2, seasonally flooded sites1
such as flood-plains2, disused gravel pits
ponds2, and occasionally mangroves
(Puerto Rico) and seashores (Azerbaijan)2.
It generally avoids very open sites (especially those exposed to
wind or wave action)1, 2 and oligotrophic
habitats (although it may be found on brackish waters)1,
2. When foraging
the species may range onto drier grassland,
or meadows, and on migration and in the winter
months it can often be observed on damp grassland away from water2.
The species is omnivorous
, its diet
consisting of earthworms, crustaceans, molluscs
, adult and larval
insects (especially flies, mayflies, caddisflies, bugs, beetles and
Lepidoptera), spiders, small fish, tadpoles
and occasionally birds
, as well as plant matter such as filamentous
algae, moss, the
parts of reeds and aquatic plants
, the seeds of reeds,
rushes, sedges, water-lilies, waterside
herbaceous vegetation, trees
) and cereal crops
, flowers of Eichhornia
spp., and the berries
and fruits of yew, Rubus, Sorbus,
Rosa, Crataegus, Rhamnus, Hedera, Sambucus,
Hippophae spp. and various orchard trees1.
Breeding site The nest
varies between a shallow saucer and
a deep cup
constructed from twigs
and waterside vegetation, and can
be floating on or positioned up to 1 m
above water in emergent vegetation
or positioned on a solid platform of branches in water. Less often
the nest is placed in ground
vegetation or in low bushes on the bank
near water, or in bushes and trees up to 8 m from the ground1.
information Early harvesting in rice-fields should
be avoided as it harms nests and young broods of this species2.
List of Habitats:
- 5 Wetlands (inland)
- 5.1 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls )
- 5.3 Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
- 5.4 Wetlands (inland) - Bogs , Marshes, Swamps, Fens , Peatlands
- 5.5 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
- 5.6 Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
- 5.7 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
- 5.8 Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
- 5.13 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Inland Deltas
- 5.16 Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools
- 13 Marine Coastal/Supratidal
- 13.4 Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes
- 13.5 Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Freshwater Lakes
- 15 Artificial/Aquatic & Marine
- 15.1 Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha)
- 15.2 Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha)
- 15.7 Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels )
- 15.9 Artificial/Aquatic - Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches
Mostly: Plant Matter. Lesser Quantities of: Aquatic Invertebrates .
- Breeding Habitat : Wetland-open water
- Clutch Size: 5-17
- Length of Incubation : 19-22 days
- Days to Fledge : 40-50+
- Number of Broods: occasionally 2, rarely 3
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Bateson, 1885
- Cuvier, 1812
- Jawed Vertebrates
- Goodrich, 1930
- Linnaeus, 1758
- Gauthier, 1986
- (C. Linnaeus, 1758)
- Pycraft, 1900
- Superorder: Charadriimorphae () - Huxley, 1867
- Cohort: Neognathae () - Pycraft, 1900
- Infraclass: Aves () - (C. Linnaeus, 1758)
- Subclass: Avialae () - Gauthier, 1986
- Class: Aves () - Linnaeus, 1758
- Superclass: Tetrapoda () - Goodrich, 1930
- Infraphylum: Gnathostomata () - auct. - Jawed Vertebrates
- Subphylum: Vertebrata () - Cuvier, 1812 - Vertebrates
- Phylum: Chordata () - Bateson, 1885 - Chordates
- Infrakingdom: Chordonia () - (Haeckel, 1874) Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Deuterostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Gallinula chloropus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 28-Nov-2006
Members of the genus Gallinula
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 27 species and subspecies in this genus:
G. alleni (Allen's Gallinule) · (Lesser Moorhen) · (Eurasian Moorhen) · G. chloropus cachinnans (Common Moorhen) · (Common Moorhen) · (Common Moorhen) · (Common Moorhen) · G. chloropus sandvicensis (Common Moorhen) · G. comeri (Gough Moorhen) · G. flavirostris (Azure Gallinule) · (Common Gallinule (American)) · (Common Gallinule) · (Common Gallinule (Altiplano)) · (Common Gallinule) · G. martinica (American Purple Gallinule) · (Spot-Flanked Gallinule) · (Spot-Flanked Gallinule) · (Spot-Flanked Gallinule) · (Spot-Flanked Gallinule) · G. mortierii (Tasmanian Native Hen) · (Tristan Moorhen) · (Gough Islands Coot) · (Samoan Moorhen) · (San Cristobal Moorhen) · (Dusky Moorhen) · (Dusky Moorhen) · G. ventralis (Black-Tailed Native Hen)
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Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 26, 2007:
- Biologiezentrum der Oberoesterreichischen Landesmuseen, Biologiezentrum Linz
- Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem, GEO Biodiversity Day
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Ontario Nest Records
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility, Provincial Museum of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Birds
- Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Terrestrial vertebrate specimens
- New Brunswick Museum, NBM birds
- Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara Musem of Natural History
- The Danish Biodiversity Information Facility, Western Palearctic migrants in continental Africa
- UK National Biodiversity Network, Environment and Heritage Service - EHS Species Datasets
- UK National Biodiversity Network, Herts Bird Club - Hertfordshire Breeding Bird Atlas : 1988-1992
- UNIBIO, IBUNAM, CNAV/Coleccion Nacional de Aves
- University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
- , Bird specimens
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 9277
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-202251
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 2481042
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 176284
- IUCN ID: 210457
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: ABNME13010
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 887
- Mean = 921.000 meters (3,021.654 feet), Standard Deviation = 1,231.300 based on 4,461 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
- BirdLife International 2009. Gallinula chloropus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 February 2012. [back]