Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gallinula Chloropus - What?

Can anyone read Latin? We have some aquatic neighbours! A little family spotted today on the off side.

I am assuming that this is the mother bird as there is no difference in plumage between male and female.

Sorry about that sexist comment!

We think there are about 6 chicks who are always calling shrilly for their Mum!

Adult moorhens often look black but are actually olive brown on their backs and blue grey underneath. They have white markings with a red bill with a yellow tip and distinctive red shield. Juveniles are brown with a greenish bill and shield. They nest precariously along the canal, right by the waterline on clumps of reeds.

It took me a while to remember the difference between moorhens and coots. My solution - there is an "r" for red in moorhen!

Unfortunately many of the chicks do not survive into adulthood so Mum (and Dad, wherever he is!) may end up with only one chick to look after.

After a lovely sunny day it is now absolutely pouring with rain but I have a cosy evening ahead of me. It is "my evening" as John is out line dancing.

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