Young Moorhens

“In spite of its name this is not a moorland species; the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon more, meaning mere or bog. It eats water plants, insects, spiders, worms and other invertebrates which it picks from the surface or by up-ending. Like its cousin the Coot it is aggressive in defence of its territory, attacking any encroaching neighbour with feet and bill. The feet are exceedingly long, but have no webbing, so its swimming action is jerky and laboured. If alarmed, the bird will dive and stay submerged with only its bill above the water. The nest is usually a woven structure, anchored to vegetation.”

The Moorhen is a common species near bodies of water throughout Britain and Ireland, except extreme north-west Scotland. Along a local river I encountered plenty and there were also some on a nearby on a golf course. There were some young Moorhens still with their parents and a used nest in the reeds.

One thought on “Young Moorhens

  1. How interesting that moorhens can hide under the water with their beaks just above. I didn’t know that.


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