The Dusky Moorhen feeds in the water and on land on algae, water plants and grasses, as well as seeds, fruits, mollusks and other invertebrates. [3], Common names include dusky moorhen, black gallinule, black moorhen and waterhen. Those that migrate do so at night. there were 61 moorhens in eight breeding groups and one non-breeding. [4], The dusky moorhen is a medium size bird, slightly smaller than the purple swamphen. [8], The birds do not often migrate long distances, and may remain in the same location for eight years or more. [2], Three subspecies are recognised: subspecies frontata from southeastern Borneo, the Sunda Islands, Timor and western New Guinea, subspecies neumannii from northern New Guinea, and the nominate subspecies from Australia. Young birds leave their place of birth in autumn and spring, and may be found in locations not normally frequented by adult birds. The Dusky Moorhen is a medium-sized, dark navy-black water bird with a white undertail. The shallow platform nests are made of reeds and other water plants over water, among reeds or on floating platforms in open water. [14], The dusky moorhen is found in wetland habitats, with a preference for freshwater marshes and swamps, and are rarely found far from these areas except when foraging in nearby vegetation. The adult dusky moorhen is mainly dark grey-black, with a browner tinge to the upper parts. [8][5] They are also found in urban parks such as Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens and often in dams and river banks. [18], Dusky moorhens are diurnal, and roost at nighttime alone, in breeding groups, or in non-breeding flocks. It will also consume carrion, bread, and droppings from birds including gulls and ducks. [15][16] They require open water, usually with some cover such as grass, reeds, and other vegetation. Gallinula tenebrosa magnirostris Mathews, 1912 Charles Lucien Bonaparte described Gallinula haematopus in 1856, but this is now a nomen nudum. This may be a signal of alertness or of social status, depending on the context. The Dusky Moorhen are found in wetlands, including swamps, rivers, and artificial waterways. [2] Its species name is derived from the Latin tenebrosa "dark". [8][9], The territorial call is a loud kurk or krik, which may be repeated or run together, sounding like kurruk-uk. They may move to different locations within their range when resources become scarce. They roost on platforms constructed in reeds set above the water, on branches over the water, and more rarely on the ground in the reeds. ... of the dusky moorhen leads to reduced levels of relatedness. Some vagrant, non-breeding birds may be found in New Zealand as well. Breeding: During breeding season (August to March), the Dusky Moorhen forms breeding groups of up to seven birds. Swimming and preening birds may make a series of short, stacatto, widely spaced noises. Two or more females will lay their eggs in the same nest and all members of the group help to incubate the eggs and feed the young. ... Footage of a moorhen … [6][7][8] The chicks are fed mostly on annelid worms and molluscs, with plant matter gradually being given in increasing proportions by the parents as the young mature. [6][8], Brisbane City Botanical Gardens, Queensland, Australia, "Scanning and Tail-flicking in the Australian Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa)", "Gallinula (Gallinula) tenebrosa Gould, 1846", "Effects of habitat characteristics and climate on the distribution and colouration of Dusky Moorhens (Gallinula tenebrosa) in south-east Queensland", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dusky_moorhen&oldid=975914076, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 31 August 2020, at 03:38. [5] Adult males generally weigh on average around 570 grams and adult females 493 grams. Mating is a very ceremonial affair with much pacing, circling, head dipping, body arching, but no calls audible from a distance. It diet consists of seeds, the tips of shrubs and grasses, algae, fruits, molluscs, and other invertebrates. Gregory Mathews described two subspecies that have been synonymized—magnirostris from Western Australia and subfrontata from New South Wales. The shallow platform nests are made of reeds and other water plants over water, among reeds or on floating platforms in open water. Engage in more intimate and personal animal experiences by purchasing a Wildlife Animal Encounter. It builds a bulky nest of aquatic plants among rushes or other vegetation at the water's edge, and lays 6-10 whitish eggs. ... UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. Adults may make a quiet hissing noise when their eggs are disturbed. It has a red bill with a yellow tip and a red facial shield. During the warmer months, in the breeding season, the shield grows brighter again in both sexes. During that time, the Dusky Moorhen forms breeding groups of two to seven birds, with all members defending territory, building nests and looking after young. They often live alongside birds in the same genus, such as the Tasmanian nativehen and the common moorhen. The birds also make a series of short, sharp squawks and squeaks as alarm calls. [3] The dusky moorhen may nest alongside the purple swamphen. [18] It is territorial when breeding, but otherwise gregarious. During the day they rest at these places, and may also sit on floating vegetation, rocks, logs, and on the banks. [8], Breeding season is from August to January in the south of Australia, with generally one brood, and January to June in the north, often brooding twice. A medium-sized, dark navy-black water bird with a browner tinge to the upper parts, on. 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