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Common name Common moorhen
Scientific name Gallinula chloropus
Type Waterbirds
Status Resident

Medium-sized bird (about 35 cm or 14 in) and similar in appearance to a coot. Two-coloured bill (red with yellow tip) with a red shield. Uniform dark plumage with a more brown-olive back, bluish or slate grey head, dark grey flanks and belly. White tail. White stripes on the wings. Eyes with a reddish iris. Long legs with green, long toes. In flight the hanging legs stand out.


Wetlands, River and Riverside

Where it lives

All kinds of wetlands with preference for calm waters with plenty of marsh vegetation and muddy bottoms. Usually in low stretches and mouths of coastal rivers and in ends of dams and marshes.

How it lives

Species resident in the province. Very territorial and aggresive during the breeding and gregarious in winter. Nests in the water or among the vegetation on the shore. Layings of 2 to 13 eggs. Very varied food, from vegetables to carrion. It tends to hide among the riparian vegetation.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

In all the courses of permanent waters that flow into the coast and in many inland ones. Mouths of the Guadalhorce and the Vélez rivers. Reservoirs and marshes of the province. Fuente de Piedra, Campillos and Archidona lagoons. Small reservoirs and irrigation dams of the Costa de Sol.

Curious facts

Its name refers to its appearance as a small hen, associated with water. In fact, this bird is also known as "water pullet". Its Latin name refers to its "green feet". A curious behaviour of the Moorhen is that in situations of risk it is able to submerge completely leaving the bill out of the water as if it were a periscope.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration