Correctly called the “Common Gallinule” – Gallinula chloropus or the charming yellow & green footed little hen – I prefer its Old World name of Moorhen but I think I have said that before. A summer visit to the Green Cay Nature Center in Boynton Beach on the last day of July 2015 found examples of Moorhens in almost all stages of their life, from little chicks to adults.
A young Moorhen follows one of its parents.
We were surprised to see what appeared to be an example of cooperative feeding amongst the Moorhens when a juvenile Moorhen fed young chicks meaning other members of the family group other than the parents are helping raise the young seen here nestled in the safety of a large plant.
Note this chick’s big feet and the little, yellowish wings.
Moorhens eat mainly aquatic plants with the occasional insect for a little variety. Here a chick eats a plant given to it by the adult looking on.
Love the orange head and blue eyeshadow of the young one.
An adult feeds one of the chicks.
Getting older. Note the little wings on this juvenile.
The “little hen” moniker really fits here.
Moorhens have very large feet which distributes their weight so they can walk across most aquatic plants without sinking into the water. And even with those feet the Moorhen is a pretty fair swimmer.
A Moorhen wades through green Duckweed.
Even more Duckweed.
Moorhens feeding on aquatic plants.