Thursday, January 6, 2011

Common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Common indigenous wader distributed in tanks, paddy fields and marshes of low country dry zone and less commonly in wet zone.  Usually found in pairs or as small scattered flocks.  To escape a danger such as attack of a hawk it dives and remain under water for some time clinging to under water weeds, while keeping only  its beak above the surface for breathing.  It feeds on water insects and such small animals, and also various kinds of vegetarian stuffs.  During breeding season which is from March to July it make a nest on top of a shrub growing in water and lay 5-8 eggs.


  1. Never seen this one,I wonder weather they inhabit the tanks in Kurunegala,quite a few tanks we have here!

  2. Definatly it can be found in most weedy tanks of Kurunagala district. It has been observed that during recent past it extended its range into wet zone and now it is inhabiting most marsh areas of wet zone such as Bellanwila- attidiya, Talangama, Kotte marshes..etc. It is rather shy bird and locating them among weedy tanks is bit difficult and it retreats to a cover even with slight alarm of a danger. Above photgraph was taken at Pinkattiya tank of Puttalama district.