Photo courtesy of Pat Smith

Moorhens are blackish with a red and yellow beak and long, green legs. Seen closer-up, they have a dark brown back and wings and a more bluish-black belly, with white stripes on the flanks.

Around any pond, lake, stream or river, or even ditches in farmland. Moorhens can live in cities as well as the countryside. In the UK they breed in in lowland areas, especially in central and eastern England. They’re scarce in northern Scotland and the uplands of Wales and northern England. UK breeding birds are residents and seldom travel far.

When to see them

Any time of year, and any time of day. You might even hear them calling at night.

What they eat

Water plants, seeds, fruit, grasses, insects, snails, worms and small fish.

Canada Goose   Coot   Grey Heron   Black headed gull   Kingfisher  Mallard  Moorhen   Mute Swan   Reed Bunting