Moorhen Facts

Moorhen Facts
Moorhen is type of waterfowl that belongs to the rail family. There are around 10 species of moorhen that can be found all over the world except in the extremely cold (polar) and warm (tropical) areas. Moorhen inhabits marshes and areas near the streams and ponds. Habitat destruction (draining of the wetlands) and uncontrolled killing have already resulted in the extinction of some species of moorhen. The most popular and best-known species of moorhen, common moorhen, is still numerous and widespread in the wild.
Interesting Moorhen Facts:
Moorhen can reach 12 to 15 inches in length and 7 to 14 ounces of weight.
Moorhen has bluish black plumage on the breast, head and neck, dark brown plumage on the back and wings and white plumage on the rump. Flanks are covered with white stripes.
Moorhen has red bill with yellow tip, short, rounded wings and strong legs with long fingers which facilitate movement across the uneven substrate (that is typical for the wetlands).
Moorhen is also known as "swamp chicken" because of the chicken-like shape and size of the body.
Moorhen is an omnivore. Its diet is based on the insects, spiders, snails, worms, fish, fruit, berries and seed.
Moorhen is social birds. It lives in the flocks of 15 to 30 birds outside the mating season. Dominant male is usually the leader of the group.
Natural enemies of moorhens are wild cats, large dogs, coyotes, foxes, dingoes and reptiles.
Most species of moorhen are poor flyers (some of them are nearly flightless). Certain species, such as common moorhen, can travel up to 1.200 miles from the breeding grounds to the wintering grounds and back. Migratory species usually travel during the night.
Mating season of moorhens takes place from April to August.
Moorhens are very aggressive and territorial during the mating season. Females often produce 2 to 3 broods per season.
Both male and female participate in the construction of the nest and incubation of the eggs. Nest is often located over the water or on the ground. Female lays 6 to 10 eggs that hatch after three weeks.
Both parents provide food and take care of their chicks until they become ready to fend for themselves. Moorhens are excellent swimmers at the early age, but they lose this ability later in life.
Young moorhens are able to find food on their own at the age of 3 weeks. They learn to fly 7 weeks after hatching, but they stay with their parents until the autumn to help them in raising of the new generations of chicks.
Moorhen reaches sexual maturity at the age of one year.
Moorhen has an average lifespan of 3 years.

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