Moorhen.JPG (20691 bytes)Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa): Is a familiar inhabitant of town lakes and other water bodies.
The Dusky Moorhen is about 380 millimetres long and has a slim bill that is bright red. The body is slate-grey with the wings and rump browner. The tail is black with a white patch underneath. Legs are yellow, scarlet and olive. Male and female plumage is identical.
When disturbed, Dusky Moorhens flick their tails and display the white patch.
Dusky Moorhens have interesting breeding habits. A group of one to three males may mate with one female. All parents plus helpers care for the juveniles.
Dusky Moorhens become reasonably tame when occupying areas in city parks and gardens. They are often observed on short grass close to water.
Their nests are a bulky saucer of sticks, bark and grass. Seven to ten eggs are laid and breeding may take place throughout the year.
Dusky Moorhens are found throughout eastern Australia and the south west corner of Western Australia .
Parramatta Park, in western Sydney, is the home of the birds illustrated.