Lesser Moorhen | Gallinula angulata
The Lesser Moorhen is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Rallidae bird family group which includes birds such as Flufftails, Rails, Crakes, Gallinules, Swamphens, Moorhens, Coots.
The description for the Lesser Moorhen (Latin name Gallinula angulata) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Gallinula angulata can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 227 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 335. You will find a picture of the Lesser Moorhen on page 305.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Lesser Moorhen between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Lesser Moorhen is known in Afrikaans as Kleinwaterhoender.
The Lesser Moorhen has a height of 24 cms and weighs around 150 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured red. The Gallinula angulata has a grey coloured throat, yellow legs and a black, grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.
The male Gallinula angulata has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is black
Eyes are brown
Bill is red
Legs are yellow
Throat is grey
Back is black, grey
Feeding Habits ...
This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Lesser Moorhen is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 4 to 9 eggs and they are coloured cream.
The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.
The bird builds its nest above water as a means of protecting itself from predators and to be close to its main food source which includes fish, shrimp and frogs.
The Lesser Moorhen is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The Lesser Moorhen is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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