Dusky Moorhen

The Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) is a common dark grey, washed brown, shy water hen of town lakes and well vegetated wetlands. Its name comes from merehen meaning "bird of the lakes". It has a yellow-tipped scarlet bill and bill shield, dark eye, red kneed legs with long slender toes. It has white undertail edges. The dusky moorhen is a strong swimmer, feeding on underwater weeds but can run fast on land, though it tends to take to the water when in danger. It feeds on vegetable matter, seeds, insects and frogs on land.

The dusky moorhen breeds from August to March. The nest is a bulky saucer of sticks, bark, stems and grass, in rushes, reeds in or near water in vegetration, on stump, tree root or low branch of a waterside tree. There are 7 to 10 eggs. (Contributed by Jo G.)