Common Moorhen

About the Common Moorhen

Also known as: Moorhen, Common Gallinule, Waterhen, Common Waterhen

The Common Moorhen is a widespread species of rail. The North American Common Gallinule was split from this species in 2011. The Common Moorhen was formerly known as the Common Waterhen.

Common Moorhens have dark body plumage, with bright yellow legs and feet, and a prominent red facial shield. They nest in marshy environments and spend much of their time feeding on aquatic vegetation and small aquatic animals. Despite their affinity for water, and their excellent swimming ability, the toes of Common Moorhens are neither webbed nor lobed.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 01 December 2011
Scientific Name
Gallinula chloropus
  • Gruiformes
  • Rallidae
  • Gallinula
  • G. chloropus
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 6 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
12.6 to 13.8 inches
21.3 to 24.4 inches
10.9 to 16.1 ounces


International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) frango-d’água-comum
Czech (Cesky) slípka tristanská
Danish (Dansk) Grønbenet Rørhøne
Dutch (Nederlands) Waterhoentje
Finnish (Suomi) liejukana
French (Français) Gallinule poule-d'eau
German (Deutsch) Teichhuhn
Italian (Italiano) Sciabica
Japanese (日本語) トリスタンバン (ban)
Korean (한국어) 쇠물닭
Norwegian (Norsk) Sivhøne
Polish (Polski) kokoszka zwyczajna
Russian (русский язык) Камышница
Spanish (Español) Gallineta Común
Swedish (Svenska) Rörhöna
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Bonanza Bird #14: Common Moorhen

Bonanza Bird #14: Common Moorhen

For 19 days we're adding a new Birdorable bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2011. We're counting up to revealing our 350th species! Today's bird is the Common Moorhen. The ... more