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Occurs virtually all over the world except in Australia, including practically every island.


Fresh water marshes, reedy ponds, lake edges, and small streams.


The gallinule is a mid-sized, duck-like bird, but its red bill, with frontal shield and yellow tip, is more like a chicken\\\'s in shape. Dark gray-brown uppers are separated from cooler gray below by a band of white along the sides. White feathers are conspicuous under the tail. Eyes are dark brown or red. The neck and legs are fairly long, toes are very long. Juveniles are brown with a greenish-brown bill and shield. Sexes are alike.


It pumps its head back and forth while swimming, submerges when diving. It walks with high, jerking steps and a flirting tail. It can climb into bushes or reeds. It flies weakly, with dangling legs. It seeks cover from danger in dense vegetation, and strikes out with feet when fighting. It commonly repeats hen-like clucking of ?kurruk?.


Breeds in March or later. In parts of its range it raises 2 ? 3 broods annually. Male and female work on shallow saucer nest of reeds anchored to marsh grass. Generally, 6 ? 14 speckled buff-colored eggs are laid. Both parents incubate for 3 weeks and tend to the young, which can fly in 6 ? 7 weeks.

Interesting Facts:

Gallinules moult all flight feathers simultaneously. They will attack and kill other birds. The gallinule is also called the moor hen.

About Our Animals:

This animal species is not currently on display at the Zoo.

Class: birds
Genus: Gallinula
Species: chloropus cachinnans
Length: 12 ? 15 inches
Average Lifespan: 10
Wild Diet: Mainly vegetable matter: seeds, fruits, shoots. Some worms and insects.
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed

Learn more about birds or animals from North America!
Or, cross-reference the two!





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