Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Common Moorhen

Photographed at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando Florida.

(click to enlarge)

It is a distinctive species, with dark plumage apart from the white undertail, yellow legs and a red facial shield. The young are browner and lack the red shield. It has a wide range of gargling calls and will emit loud hisses when threatened.

This is a common breeding bird in marsh environments and well-vegetated lakes. Populations in areas where the waters freeze, such as southern Canada, the northern USA and eastern Europe, will migrate to more temperate climes. This species will consume a wide variety of vegetable material and small aquatic creatures. They forage beside or in the water, sometimes upending in the water to feed. It is often secretive, but can become tame in some areas. Despite loss of habitat in parts of its range, the Common Moorhen remains plentiful and widespread.

The nest is a basket built on the ground in dense vegetation. Laying starts in spring, between mid-March and mid-May in N hemisphere temperate regions. About 8 eggs are usually laid per female early in the season; a brood later in the year usually has only 5-8 or even less eggs. Nests may be re-used by different females. Incubation lasts about three weeks. Both parents incubate and feed the young. These fledge after 40–50 days, become independent usually a few weeks thereafter, and may raise their first brood the next spring. When threatened, the young may cling to the parents' body, after which the adult birds fly away to safety, carrying their offspring with them.

Research from Wikipedia.

Thanks for stopping by,

Craig Glenn


KaHolly said...

Nice post! I enjoyed the informative text. Brings back even more warm memories of my earlier birding days, a visit to FL, and the first time I ever saw a moorhen.

The Muse said...

When we get to FL...I am so going to be using all this knowledge!

I feel so "Audubon~ish"

:) :) :)

never tire of learning!

Gaelyn said...

Craig, you've really gone to the birds. ;-) Yet another wonderful capture. Really like the striking red and yellow shield against the black body.

Kerri said...

A very neat looking bird! Great capture!

Craig Glenn said...

Thanks everyone! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

How beautiful Craig. It looks like our Black Crake except the leggs are a bright yellow. A magnificent shots. Pleased to see you are getting full use of your camera my friend.

Maia said...

This is a nice informative post but I can't take my eyes from this perfect photo. My, my, what an amazing clarity. Congratulations for this performance.

eileeninmd said...

Awesome shot of the Moorhen. It would be a new bird for me, maybe someday.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craig: Nice capture, I got a photo of a female brown one and just thought it was a duck until I saw the feet. This is a neat photo.

Craver Vii said...

Craig, that's a beautiful photo of a remarkably ugly bird. Click to enlarge? Um, no thanks. ;-)