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Birds

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221 illustration

Common moorhen

Gallinula chloropus

Description:
A dark, pigeon-sized bird, the moorhen has a long tail with a white underside. The adult is almost completely black, with a yellow-tipped red bill and long, greenish-yellow legs. Young moorhens are greyish brown with a whitish throat and dark bill and legs.

Habitat:
The moorhen lives on smaller lakes, ponds, pools and rivers with dense vegetation cover. It is found throughout Europe, except for the far north.

Habits:
Usually secretive, the moorhen may sometimes be seen walking on riverbanks or in waterside meadows. Its nest is a roofed basket built on the ground and well hidden in dense vegetation. It feeds on water invertebrates and small vertebrates.

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