pixabay Lizenz Nennieinszweidrei (https://pixabay.com/de/photos/ralle-teichralle-4827761/)

Common moorhen


The subspecies of the common moorhen occurring in Europe is slightly smaller than a partridge with a body length of about 33 centimeters. The adult birds are dark olive-brown on the upperparts of the body, and dark gray-black on the head and neck and the underparts of the body. Males and females look alike, differing only slightly in size and weight. They have a red forehead, a red beak with a yellow beak tip, and red eyes. The short tail with black and white undertail feathers is often stilted upward. On the underparts, the plumage is slate gray, with white barring on the flanks. Feet and legs are yellowish green; above the intertarsal joint the legs have a red band. The bird is conspicuous because it constantly bobs its stilted tail and rhythmically nods its head while swimming.


The optimal habitat of a common moorhen is a highly eutrophic and shallow water body with dense reed vegetation on the shore and larger floating leaf communities on the open water surface. However, due to its high adaptability, the species is also found in waters that do not correspond to this optimal habitat. It also uses smaller pools and waterholes that have a water surface area of 20 to 30 square meters, and can be found in peat extraction areas, sewage fields, along floodplains and slow-flowing rivers, as well as clay and gravel pits, among other places. The common moorhen is also one of the species that has captured urban areas as a habitat and can be seen there in gardens, parks and zoos if these offer sufficient water areas. It has only low demands on water quality. More essential than this is the presence of suitable riparian vegetation.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teichralle). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 17December 2021