Common Moorhen: Medium, chicken-like marsh bird with gray-brown back and slate-gray head, neck, breast, and belly. Upper flanks show distinct white line. Yellow-tipped red bill is short with red frontal plate extending onto forehead. Tail is white below. Long legs and unwebbed feet are yellow-green.
Range and Habitat
Common Moorhen: Breeds over much of North America through Central America and northern South America. Spends winters from the southern Atlantic states to South America. Prefers habitat with large areas of open water; common near reservoirs, ponds, freshwater marshes, and flooded grasslands.
Despite lacking either webbed or lobed feet, the Common Moorhen is an excellent swimmer.
It is often visually and vocally confused with the American Coot. It is easily distinguished by the red shield-like plate above its bill.
The Common Moorhen is also called Common Gallinule or Florida Gallinule. It has been nicknamed swamp chicken.
A group of moorhens are collectively known as a "plump" of moorhens.