The Common Moorhen chick looks like a little ball of fluffy feathers.
The Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) is a medium-sized wetlands bird found from Europe to Asia. The adult measures about 38 centimetres (15 inches) tall, with a wingspan of 62 centimetres (24 inches). The young chick, or juvenile Common Moorhen, looks similar to its parents.
The adult Common Moorhen has dark black-grey feathers, except for a white undertail. It has a white line on its side, called a flank line. It has a red frontal shield above its yellow-tipped red beak. The female is browner and duller.
The chick has black feathers with white wispy feathers around its neck. It has a red beak without the frontal shield.
The adult Common Moorhen has yellow legs that have no webbing between its four toes. The chick has dark coloured legs.
The female builds a nest on the ground in dense vegetation. She lays about 8 eggs which hatch after about 21 days.
Both parents feed and look after the young.
The chick gains its adult feathers after 40-50 days, and becomes independent a few weeks afterwards.
The Common Moorhen lives in wetlands, such as marshes, swamps, ponds, creeks, and floodplains.
[Location of photographs: Paris Zoo, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM