Scientific Name: Gallinula chloropus
Population Estimate: 3.9M - 8.1M
Range / Habitat: Common Moorhen: Breeds over much of North America through Central America and northern South America. Spends winters from the southern Atlantic states to South America. Prefers habitat with large areas of open water; common near reservoirs, ponds, freshwater marshes, and flooded grasslands.
Field Notes: The Moorhen is a distinctive species, with dark plumage apart from the white undertail, yellow legs and a red facial shield. The young are browner and lack the red shield. It has a wide range of gargling calls and will emit loud hisses when threatened. It is easily recognised by its vivid red shield and short, yellow bill, which sits in stark contrast to dark-coloured plumage. From a distance the plump body appears bold black, but upon closer inspection it is a more attractive olive-brown on the back, head and on its short wings, and grey on the underparts.