Common Moorhen ( Gallinula chloropus, family: Rallidae)

common moorhen kruger national park birds The Common Moorhen (Latin name Gallinula chloropus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 226 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 334 also a picture of the Common Moorhen on page 305. The Common Moorhen belongs to the family of birds classified as Rallidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Common Moorhen is also known by these other names: Moorhen, Common Gallinule.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Common Moorhen is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Common Moorhen in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Common Moorhen : see above distribution map.

Kruger Park Common MoorhenIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

The Common Moorhen is a bird about the size of a Francolin now called Spurfowl. The height of the Common Moorhen is about 38 cms and its weight is about 175 gms

The male and female Common Moorhen have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is crimson.
  • Bill is red.
  • Throat is black.
  • Back is black.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Common Moorhen feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly




Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Common Moorhen is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Gallinula chloropus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Common Moorhen is to create the nest on water. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 4 to 9

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Common Moorhen are: wetlands

You can expect to see Common Moorhen in flocks, or pairs or as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Grootwaterhoender

German ... Teichhuhn

Portuguese ... Galinha-d'gua

French ... Gallinule poule-d'eau

Dutch ... Waterhoentje

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 226

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,