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1. Dusky moorhen - Zwart waterhoen - Gallinula tenebrosa

  • Published: 2015-03-23T10:34:11+00:00
  • Duration: 229
  • By Watervogelbond
Dusky moorhen - Zwart waterhoen - Gallinula tenebrosa

The dusky moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) is a bird species in the rail family and is one of the eight extant species in the moorhen genus. It occurs in India, Australia, New Guinea, Borneo and Indonesia. It is often confused with the purple swamphen and the Eurasian coot due to similar appearance and overlapping distributions. They often live alongside birds in the same genus, such as the Tasmanian nativehen and the common moorhen. The dusky moorhen is a medium size bird, slightly smaller than the purple swamphen. The New Guinea birds are smaller, at 25–32 centimetres (9.8–12.6 in) in length, than the Australian race 34–38 centimetres (13–15 in).[5] Adult males generally weigh on average around 570 grams and adult females 493 grams. The adult dusky moorhen is mainly dark grey-black, with a browner tinge to the upper parts. It has a red frontal shield and yellow-tipped red bill like its Eurasian relative, but lacks the white flank line shown by common moorhen, and has orange-yellow rather than yellow legs. The Australian subspecies is larger and pager than both other subspecies. 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. This species builds a bulky nest of reeds or grasses at the water's edge or a few centrimetres above the water, often at the base of a Melaleuca and lays a clutch of 5–11 matte whitish eggs that are covered with red-brown dots and splotches. Tapered oval in shape, they measure 53 mm long by 36 mm wide each and have more prominent markings at the larger end. It is territorial when breeding, but otherwise gregarious. The dusky moorhen may nest alongside the purple swamphen